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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Carolina Panthers
(Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports) Amari Gainer /

Carolina Panthers select Amari Gainer

  • Linebacker | Florida State

Later in the draft is where general manager Scott Fitterer excels. He has a proven track record of finding diamonds in the rough that emerge as solid contributors, which the Carolina Panthers will be depending on once again in 2023 to bolster depth at certain positions.

We’ve already spoken about the need for Carolina to potentially improve things at linebacker moving forward. Even though the team drafted Trenton Simpson early in the process in this scenario, adding someone like Amari Gainer could also prove beneficial if the opportunity presents itself.

Gainer has three solid seasons of production at Florida State, accumulating 193 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, and five sacks so far. He is a physical hitter with a high motor that has the athleticism needed to carve out an NFL role for himself in the right situation.

As is normally the case with prospects taken this late in the process, Gainer has some refinement to do before any team can realistically throw meaningful reps his way. He has a tendency to tackle high – which is a complication – and he could also make more of his length in coverage situations.

With that being said, if the Panthers walked out of the draft with Simpson and Gainer, it would at least provide some hope for the future. Something the linebacker corps sorely need.