Panthers 7-round 2023 mock draft: Addressing needs and taking risks

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Hendon Hooker
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Hendon Hooker /
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Carolina Panthers
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Hendon Hooker /

Carolina Panthers select Hendon Hooker

  • Quarterback | Tennessee

Baker Mayfield’s stunning fightback against the Cleveland Browns almost resulted in an improbable victory. It also provided the Carolina Panthers with some hope he can finally solve their long-term complication under center.

Mayfield can take heart from how he concluded the contest. Although one could argue his start to the game put the Panthers in a hole, to begin with.

It’s a case of wait-and-see as far as Mayfield goes in 2022. But the Panthers can relax safe in the knowledge that if things don’t work out, then the upcoming quarterback class looks strong, deep, and full of prospects that can eventually become NFL starters.

Hendon Hooker is a name to monitor. Many wondered how the signal-caller would fare after transferring from Virginia Tech to Tennessee in 2021, but he’s proven more than capable of mixing it with the very best that the SEC has to offer.

Hooker has a lightning-fast release which also comes with enough arm strength to fire the football all over the field. The player also displays solid accuracy and is a sound decision-maker with just three interceptions in 15 appearances for the Volunteers.

Providing traits such as mechanics and recognizing pressure show progression in the weeks ahead, Hooker is an intriguing prospect that had the skills to succeed in the pros. Although he will need to bulk up slightly beforehand.