Carolina Panthers General Manager & Head Coach Discuss Why They Drafted Xavier Legette

Mar 2, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette (WO14) runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine
Mar 2, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette (WO14) runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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On Thursday night, South Carolina football star Xavier Legetterealized his NFL dream and, in a way, saw a promise kept by the franchise that seemed to covet him the most throughout the draft process: the Carolina Panthers. The NFC South team took the Palmetto State native with the last pick of the first round after swapping the first pick of the second round with the Buffalo Bills. When meeting with the media after the conclusion of the first round in the wee hours of Friday morning, Panthers' General Manager Dan Morgan made it clear that based on how they viewed Legette from a holistic standpoint and how the latter stages of Day one unfolded, they didn't want to be left empty-handed.

"We loved Xavier [and] everything he bought, not only as a person but as a player; his ability to attack the ball when it's in the air; his ability to run with it after the catch. He's just big, he's strong, [and] he's physical. Think he has a lot of upside. We wanted to take that opportunity to go get our guy," Morgan lamented. "Once Brian Thomas was taken, I felt like there was going to be a little run on wideouts after that. And then Xavier Worthy got taken -- With Xavier [Legette] out there, you know, we were just like we don't want to put ourselves in a bad situation to where we're not going to be able to get the guy that we want to get. He was our target."

First-year head coach for the Panthers, Dave Canales, later dove a little bit deeper into the on-field traits and indicated that Xavier's experience in Dowell Loggains' offensive scheme last Fall will make his transition into his offense seamless.

"First of all just the athletic traits right? Just like height, weight, speed ... really balanced hands. That's a pretty good start. Then you look at the versatile ways that the Gamecocks were able to use him out of the backfield, jet sweeps, short crossers, perimeter screens, down the field posts. There really isn't much else we do with receivers. He's done it all."

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Andrew Lyon

ANDREW LYON