Panthers 7-round NFL mock draft ahead of 2022 college football season

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Anthony Richardson
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Anthony Richardson /
2 of 9
Carolina Panthers
(Ken Ruinard/The Greenville News via IMAGN Content Services) Trenton Simpson /

879. . LB. Tigers . TRENTON SIMPSON. 15. player

Carolina Panthers select Trenton Simpson

  • Linebacker | Clemson

Finding a long-term solution at the middle linebacker position has been a tough task for the Carolina Panthers since Luke Kuechly retired after the 2019 campaign due to health concerns. There won’t be another No. 59 walking through the door anytime soon, but if the likes of Damien Wilson and Cory Littleton fail to meet expectations, this could be among the team’s top priorities next spring.

There is hope that Brandon Smith can build on a phenomenal preparation period in pursuit of securing a starting role as the season progresses. The Penn State product adjusted well to life in Carolina throughout camp and the preseason, but his exceptional athletic attributes might be best suited to an outside role rather than manning the interior.

If this proves to be the base, then taking a long look at Trenton Simpson is a necessity. The Panthers have strangely never selected a player from Clemson – a trend that might change given the outstanding prospects at Dabo Sweeney’s disposal set to declare in 2023.

Simply put, Simpson has it all. His explosiveness is off the charts, which is matched by a physical style of play that makes him a significant threat on running downs and rushing the passer.

Not only this, but Simpson more than holds his own in coverage. This is a prospect set to take the college football world by storm next season and Carolina should be watching closely.