Carolina Panthers Mock Draft Roundup 2.0
Throughout the year and leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, we will update our Carolina Panthers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Carolina Panthers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.
The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Panthers:
CBS Sports - Wilson (9/7)
8. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Is this too high for Smith-Njigba? Not necessarily, especially given how much better WRs are coming out of college now -- and specifically, just how good Buckeyes pass catchers have been in the NFL. Plus, the Panthers need to find Baker Mayfield as many weapons as possible, and Smith-Njigba is a consistent contributor for Ohio State.
The Draft Network - Crabbs (9/5)
6. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
You better believe Carolina is going to jump at a quarterback if they get the chance after all this hoopla and investment in signal-callers. If the Panthers finish at No. 6 overall, odds are Baker Mayfield couldn't stave off the issues in Charlotte. And whether the team is ready for a quarterback or not (I think they are from a talent perspective), they'll be picking one.
Sporting News - Iyer (9/3)
5. Jalen Carter, IDL, Georgia
The Panthers have invested recent first-rounders on their front (see Derrick Brown and Brian Burns), but should they give Baker Mayfield a second year as starting QB for a possible new coaching staff, it would make sense to go back insider to support Brown at a weak spot.
SI - Hanson (8/31)
8. Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
With three quarterbacks already off the board, I have the Panthers passing on the QB4, especially given that they drafted Matt Corral in the third round in 2022. Carolina can instead look to replenish its supply of pass rushers. Haason Reddick (11 sacks last year) is now in Philadelphia and Brian Burns (nine sacks) will be playing on his fifth-year option, absent a new contract, in '23. Murphy has a quick first step for a 275-pounder and uses his power and length well to rush the passer and defend the run.
The Athletic - Baumgardner/Tice (8/31)
10. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
No one likes to churn their quarterbacks like the Panthers. Whether or not Matt Rhule is still the coach in 2023, the Panthers might be in the quarterback market if the Baker Mayfield experiment goes awry. Richardson's arrow as a prospect could go in any direction in 2022 (and I wouldn't be shocked by any outcome) — he is a bundle of tools at this point. But if he progresses under new coaches at Florida, he will climb rapidly up boards.
The Draft Network - Weissman (8/29)
6. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
The biggest wildcard in the draft at this moment is Florida's Anthony Richardson. Richardson has just a handful of starts to his name but the talent he displayed in that small sample size is undeniable. He is a big kid with outstanding arm strength and athleticism. If he has a strong year this year, he is a very real possibility to be the first quarterback off the board.
Pro Football Network - Fragozza (8/27)
8. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
If there is one word to describe Anthony Richardson in the 2023 NFL Draft, it's "upside." His physical traits vault him over other QBs behind the Young/Stroud tier. I mean, he looked like a five-star recruit at the high school level last season, only he was a redshirt freshman making collegiate defenders look silly. The things Richardson can do at 6'4" and 237 pounds are uncanny.
But there's a glaring issue with Richardson's scouting report: 66. That's how many pass attempts he's thrown since joining Florida. If he can show marked improvements in his technique while also providing elite production in the SEC, Richardson would easily be the third QB off the board.
ESPN - Reid (8/25)
7. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Baker Mayfield will get a trial year as the starter under center, and maybe he can keep the team out of the QB market next April. Kentucky's Will Levis could be the long-term answer in this spot, especially since Matt Corral is the only passer under contract beyond 2022 at the moment. But for now, I'm looking elsewhere: Smith-Njigba is a true WR1 candidate and is as efficient as they come out of the slot, posting more than 1,600 receiving yards last season. A smooth and consistent pass-catcher, he presents mismatch opportunities inside, and pairing him with DJ Moore would give the Panthers a creative 1-2 punch.
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