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
(Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via IMAGN Content Services) Jack Campbell /

Carolina Panthers select Jack Campbell

  • Linebacker | Iowa

The middle linebacker position has been an ongoing riddle for the Carolina Panthers. No longer can they rely on dominant figures such as Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly, so the alarming regression since both stepped away from the franchise has been deeply concerning.

Damien Wilson’s inept performance against the Cleveland Browns means this might become an area of weakness once again. Although there remains hope that fourth-rounder Brandon Smith can eventually emerge as a reliable starting option with more development.

If this turns out not to be the case, then the Panthers could address this need as a matter of urgency next spring. Jack Campbell ticks a lot of the boxes Carolina’s been lacking at the second level in recent years and could be a prospect of interest if he excels further at Iowa over his remaining college commitments.

Campbell is a ferocious, violent, and phenomenal tackling machine. His football IQ is outstanding, with the player also demonstrating enough adjustment capabilities to emerge as a Day 1 starter in the right fit.

While Campbell has some work to do regarding pass-rushing techniques, his athletic attributes indicate that the Panthers will take a look at him based on their draft selections since Scott Fitterer became general manager.