Carolina Panthers swing for the fences in recent 2023 NFL mock draft

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Bryce Young
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Bryce Young /

The Carolina Panthers swung for the fences with a potential franchise quarterback in another early 2023 NFL mock draft. 

Although the Carolina Panthers have yet to play a down in 2022, speculation is already growing about another quarterback arriving from the college ranks next spring. Those in power within the organization are still reportedly searching for an upgrade on Sam Darnold before Week 1, which could see someone like Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo come to the franchise depending on what transpires in the not-too-distant future.

The Panthers drafted Matt Corral at No. 94 overall in the hope he can become their long-term answer. However, if the team fails to meet lowly expectations once again and a new head coach comes in, then whoever it is might not have the same thought process regarding the Ole Miss product.

There are so many unknowns right now. Carolina’s fortunes are hanging in the balance and the expected strength of the 2023 quarterback draft class could see around 5-6 taken in the top 15 when it’s all said and done.

All this is hearsay and speculation at the present moment. It’s also worth remembering that a huge amount will change during the NFL and college football seasons compared to the projections being made beforehand.

Carolina Panthers select Bryce Young in Matt Miller’s mock draft

Matt Miller published his first 2023 NFL mock draft recently, which had the Panthers picking quarterback Bryce Young at No. 7 overall. The Heisman Trophy winner is expected to be among the first names called unless something drastic happens next season and could be the franchise signal-caller Carolina’s been looking for.

This would obviously be a bitter blow to Corral. However, the Panthers didn’t invest all that much in the players and won’t hesitate to go into the quarterback pool once again if they feel it can benefit the franchise.

Miller highlighted the issue regarding Young’s size and longevity. But this has become a less valued trait thanks to the success of quarterbacks such as Drew Brees, Kyler Murray, and Russell Wilson over the years.

"“The Panthers drafted Matt Corral in the third round, but they should remain in the hunt for a long-term option at the position. Young, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, doesn’t have prototypical NFL size — he’s listed at 6-foot, 194 pounds — but he plays the position like a point guard with great field vision, touch and anticipation. Size will be the ultimate question for scouts, but Young enters the season in the conversation for QB1.”"

There are obviously a lot of games to be played between now and when the time comes. It’s easy to forget that all the talk was of Spencer Rattler being the No. 1 overall selection at this stage last year before he lost his starting job at Oklahoma and has now transferred to South Carolina.

Young should have no such complications with Nick Saban as his head coach and Alabama is expected to be among the contenders once again. The signal-caller certainly looks like a star, but whether the Panthers will be in contention to acquire him is another matter entirely.

Carolina’s fanbase hasn’t had any consistent quarterback production to shout about since Cam Newton was taking the league by storm. Young would certainly change all that if his promise is realized and the Panthers have more than enough talent at the skill positions to smooth his transition in this scenario.

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