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Panthers select Texas TE Ja'Tavion Sanders to begin Round 4 of 2024 NFL Draft

New Carolina Panthers general manager Dan Morgan snaked up and down the draft board on Day 2. The Panthers stood pat to open up Day 3 and upgraded their tight end corps.

The Panthers selected Texas TE Ja'Tavion Sanders with the top selection in Round 4, pick No. 101 overall, in the 2024 NFL Draft on Saturday.

The 6-foot-4 Sanders brings size and pass-catching ability to a Panthers tight end room that needed upgrading with Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas as the top incumbents.

In two seasons as a starter at Texas, Sanders generated 1,295 yards and seven total touchdowns. In 2022, he set a Longhorns single-season record for catches with 54.

Boasting big hands and the athleticism to threaten all three levels of the defense as a pass-catcher, Sanders owns the ability to become an immediate contributor for Carolina and provide quarterback Bryce Young with another option. The rookie's strength at the catch point and ability to win over the middle and up the seam should feature well in coach Dave Canales' offense.

Entering the NFL, the tight end will need to improve his in-line blocking and route-running acumen, but Sanders has the features to add bulk and the wherewithal to improve his negatives, making him an enticing selection to open Round 4.

For the Panthers, the pick continues their offseason of filling out positional needs on offense.

Morgan made multiple trades during the draft's first two days, leaping up to snag wideout Xavier Legette with the final pick in Round 1. On Day 2, the Panthers were involved in three trades, moving back twice and up once. After taking Legette in the first round, Carolina plucked the first running back off the board, Texas' Jonathon Brooks, in Round 2 and added linebacker Trevin Wallace in the third round. Now Sanders joins Texas teammate Brooks in Carolina's 2024 draft class.

In recent weeks, the Panthers brass has insisted the offseason wasn't solely about improving things around Young but rather building the best team possible.

It turns out those aims can be one and the same.

Whether through the hiring of the QB-friendly Canales, an early offseason trade to bring in receiver Diontae Johnson, paying big bucks in free agency to bolster the interior offensive line, or through four rounds of the draft -- where three picks have been used to provide playmakers -- Carolina has done almost everything in its power to improve the situation around Young.

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