NFL Draft: Panthers trade back into 1st round with Bills, select South Carolina WR Xavier Legette at No. 32

The Carolina Panthers traded up one spot with the Buffalo Bills into the last pick (No. 32) of the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday and selected South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette.

The move gives second-year quarterback Bryce Young another weapon after a season that saw him struggle significantly as a rookie.

Xavier Legette will catch passes from Bryce Young as a Carolina Panther. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Xavier Legette will catch passes from Bryce Young as a Carolina Panther. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Legette was projected as a second-round pick with first-round upside. The Panthers evidently believe in that upside.

Legette possesses a strong package of size and speed with a 4.39 40-yard dash time at 6-1 and 221 pounds. He's able to beat his defenders in man coverage for balls and can break free downfield. He'll need to improve his route running at the NFL level, but is a promising weapon for an offense in desperate need of one.

The Bills moved down from No. 32 to the first pick in the second round at No. 33. The Panthers sent the Bills a fifth-round pick in exchange for a sixth-round pick to facilitate the trade.

The selection was Carolina's only pick in the first round after it traded its top pick in last year's deal with the Chicago Bears to acquire the 2023 No. 1 overall pick. They used that pick to select Young, then finished with the worst record in football, allowing the Bears to take USC quarterback Caleb Williams first overall Thursday night.

The Bills traded down twice Thursday and didn't make a first-round pick. They're first up on the clock on Friday for Round 2.

Buffalo initially traded down from No. 28 to No. 32 with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills received Kansas City's third-round (No. 95) and seventh-round (No. 221) picks and sent the Chiefs their fourth-round (No. 133) and seventh-round (No. 248) picks in the deal. The Chiefs selected Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy at No. 28. The pick Carolina acquired from Buffalo was originally Kansas City's.

The Bills move up from the sixth round to the fifth round this weekend, but lose a year of contract control over their first pick with the deal. Rookie contracts for second-round selections don't come with the fifth-year team options that first-round picks do.