Carolina Panthers 7-Round Mock Draft
The Carolina Panthers go into the 2023 NFL Draft hoping to alter their franchise. While Carolina only has six picks in this year’s draft, they leveraged the future for the No. 1 overall pick and, presumably, their quarterback of the future.
With a new coaching regime and likely a new franchise signal-caller, Carolina figures to overhaul its roster in the near future. But some of their biggest needs in 2023 beyond quarterback are wide receiver, interior offensive line, edge, and inside linebacker.
For this 7-round mock draft, I’ll be using the Pro Football Focus mock draft simulator.
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2023 Carolina Panthers 7-Round Mock Draft
Round 1: Pick 1 Overall
Pick: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
All signs point to Bryce Young being the No. 1 overall pick, including Young being listed at -360 at DK Sportsbook to be drafted first. Which team actually makes that pick could be up in the air— Carolina might be trying to bait Houston into a trade— but Panthers owner David Tepper reportedly prefers Young (whereas head coach Frank Reich supposedly leans toward C.J. Stroud).
Either way, Carolina will leave this draft with their presumed quarterback of the future. How much they give that quarterback to work with in Year 1 is contingent on how the Panthers’ brass decide to address their other needs.
Round 2: Pick 39 Overall
Pick: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
Only eight teams had fewer quarterback pressures than the Panthers last season, and their defensive line/outside linebacker depth chart is mostly in flux going into 2023. Felix Anudike-Uzomah was the 2022 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American after recording 25.5 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks. The fit is obvious.
Round 3: Pick 93 Overall
Pick: Nick Herbig, EDGE, Wisonsin
If the draft fell this way, it would be a luxury pick after selecting Anudike-Uzomah in Round 2, but Nick Herbig falling to pick 93 would be a tough pass from a BPA perspective for a team that needs help at this position.
Herbig averaged more than one tackle for loss per game in his career at Wisconsin. However, he could be considered a liability against the run.
Round 4: Pick 114 Overall
Pick: Cory Trice, CB, Purdue
After cornerback Myles Hartsfield left for San Francisco, the Panthers have some shuffling to do in their secondary. At 6’3″, 206 pounds, Cory Trice is a big, physical cornerback that can be used in a hybrid safety role and give Carolina some much-needed versatility in their secondary.
Round 4: Pick 132 Overall
Pick: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati
Beyond Shaq Thompson, there are some holes to plug at linebacker for the Panthers. Ivan Pace Jr. is a bit undersized but punched well above his weight as the Bearcats’ All-American middle linebacker in 2022. Pace has experience on special teams, which could help him make an NFL roster if he slips in the draft and the Panthers snag him later.
Round 5: Pick 145 Overall
Pick: Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State
From Darren Sproles’ alma mater comes Sproles 2.0.
Deuce Vaughn is severely undersized but is great in space and should carve out his niche in the NFL as a scatback who thrives as a pass-catcher.