Panthers full 7-round 2023 mock draft if Baker Mayfield earns new deal

(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield
(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /
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How could the Carolina Panthers approach the 2023 NFL Draft if newly-acquired quarterback Baker Mayfield earns a new deal with the franchise? 

After a drawn-out saga and months of negotiations, the Carolina Panthers found an upgrade at the quarterback position. Baker Mayfield‘s arrival from the Cleveland Browns comes with storylines aplenty and could spell the end of Sam Darnold’s time with the organization if things go as expected in training camp.

Having a motivated Mayfield won’t hurt. It might even provide the Panthers with an inspiration to progress that simply wasn’t there during the first two seasons under head coach Matt Rhule.

Mayfield is also playing for pride and a new contract. So what transpires on the field and within the locker room in Carolina is going to come with some big ramifications for the former Oklahoma sensation.

Using the Pro Football Network simulator, we took a look at how the Panthers might approach the 2023 NFL Draft if Mayfield does enough to earn a new deal.

Round No. 1 (Trade)

Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer /

Carolina Panthers trade down from No. 6 overall

The Carolina Panthers will be in a good position to acquire additional draft capital if Baker Mayfield proves to be the answer under center. In this scenario, a deal is struck with the Miami Dolphins for two first-rounders this year, an extra 2024 first and the fifth-round selection they are conditionally giving up for their new signal-caller.

This seems like the smart avenue to go down, one suspects. The Panthers are projected to be around $30 million over the cap in 2023, so the more college players they can get next spring, the better.