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Ja'Tavion Sanders could be Panthers' starting TE this season

By Jared Smola | Updated on Sat, 27 Apr 2024, 12:11 PM EDT

The Panthers selected Texas TE Ja’Tavion Sanders with the first pick of Round 4. He’s been overshadowed in this class by TE Brock Bowers, but Sanders is a damn good prospect in his own right. A five-star recruit and top-30 overall player in the 2021 class, Sanders broke out as a sophomore in 2022. He ranked second on that Longhorns team in catches (54), third in receiving yards (613), and second in TDs (5). Last year brought a career-high 682 receiving yards, despite the arrival of WR Adonai Mitchell. Sanders averaged a big 15.2 yards per catch, fueled largely by 7.7 yards after catch per reception. He’s a fluid athlete with plus speed, capable of making plays at all three levels of the field. Sanders also possesses nice ball skills and reliable hands. He was charged with just four drops (3.9% drop rate) over the last two seasons. Sanders needs to clean up his route running and consistency as a blocker. But he has all the tools to develop into a perennial top-12 fantasy TE. Sanders finds plenty of opportunity in Carolina, where he joins a TE room alongside Tommy Tremble, Ian Thomas, and Stephen Sullivan. The rookie has a good chance to win the Week 1 starting job.

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Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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