NFL Draft Betting: What Position Will the Panthers Address With Their First Pick in 2024?

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
NFL Draft Betting: What Position Will the Panthers Address With Their First Pick in 2024?

Following a 2-15 season, the future looks rather bleak for the Carolina Panthers. The ultimate plan for a rebuild failed miserably in the 2023 season. The No. 1 pick of the 2023 NFL Draft -- Bryce Young -- struggled in his rookie season, and coach Frank Reich was fired mid-season.

After giving up a wealth of draft capital for 2023's No. 1 pick -- including 2024's first-round selection -- Carolina has fewer coveted picks to work with in the upcoming draft. The Panthers are hoping to get on the right page with their rebuild after hiring Dave Canales, who was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive coordinator last season, as head coach.

Carolina has two second-round picks for the 2024 NFL Draft (picks 33 & 39). What positions could the Panthers target?

As of now, FanDuel Sportsbook is offering an exclusive market in North Carolina for which position Carolina will select first in the 2024 NFL Draft. Let's check out the NFL Draft odds and break down the positions with the shortest lines.

NFL Draft Odds

2024 NFL Draft - Position of Carolina Panthers First Drafted Player
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
Defensive Lineman/Edge+185
Wide Receiver+220
Offensive Line+600

Defensive Lineman/Edge (+185)

Likely due to the hefty extension price, the Panthers decided to move on from their standout edge rusher Brian Burns, who totaled at least 8.0 sacks in four straight seasons. Carolina acquired a 2024 second-round pick (39th selection) and a 2025 fifth-rounder from the New York Giants for Burns.

The Panthers signed edge rushers K'Lavon Chaisson and D.J. Wonnum in free agency. Keep in mind that Carolina also lost Yetur Gross-Matos in free agency. The edge rusher spots are clearly lacking, and it becomes a dire need following Burns' departure.

A defensive lineman or edge rusher seems like a safe bet for the Panthers' first selection in the 2024 draft. Several talented prospects could be available, such as Chop Robinson of Penn State or Chris Braswell of Alabama.

Wide Receiver (+220)

This pick could come down to a tight race between edge rusher and wide receiver. Carolina also has a clear need for adding talent to their wide receiver corps. This was one issue -- along with poor pass protection -- that harmed Bryce Young's development.

The Panthers traded for Diontae Johnson, which certainly alleviates some of the worries. Johnson recorded at least 850 receiving yards in three straight seasons from 2020 to 2022. The room sorely needed a second option as Adam Thielen led the way with 1,014 receiving yards compared to D.J. Chark totaling the second-most at 525 yards in 2023.

Still, edge rusher seems to be higher on the priority list due to the acquisition of Johnson. Carolina did not solve this issue in free agency; it only got more concerning.

We can't ignore that the Panthers' first two picks are rather close at 33 and 39. Carolina could still opt to pick a wideout first if the value is there. Some names to keep in mind are Ladd McConkey of Georgia and Xavier Legette of South Carolina.

Cornerback (+380)

The third option before a decent drop-off is cornerback. Jaycee Horn is an exceptional starter who fills one perimeter spot. Plus, the Panthers signed Dane Jackson from the Buffalo Bills in free agency.

This position simply does not feel as dire as edge rusher or wide receiver. The ideal prospect would have to be available, offering excellent value. Some examples could include Kool-Aid McKinstry of Alabama or Ennis Rakestraw Jr. of Missouri.

Siding with edge rusher feels like the best pick for the Panthers' first selection. Several prospects are tracking for an early second-round pick, and there is a decent chance of even a first-round caliber prospect to reach the 33rd pick.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.