Panthers 7-round 2023 mock draft: Addressing needs and taking risks
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers select Jahleel Billingsley
- Tight End | Texas
While Jahleel Billingsley‘s talent cannot be disputed, a recent six-game suspension from his time at Alabama means that the tight end has yet to take the field for Texas after his high-profile transfer before the 2022 campaign.
This has come with some character concerns surrounding the player, although information about what led to the suspension remains sketchy. Any team interested in Billingsley will research the prospect thoroughly and if they decide to look the other way, it might see him take a significant slide down the draft as a result.
The Carolina Panthers have shown willingness to take chances on prospects that come into the assessment period with exactly these concerns. Players like Daviyon Nixon, Shi Smith, and Deonte Brown in the last two years alone since Scott Fitterer took the reins as general manager.
Billingsley is an athletic specimen that represents a matchup nightmare in the slot. His size and length also make him a supreme force in red-zone situations, which is exactly what the Panthers need despite Ian Thomas showing signs of life in Week 1.
Missing the first six games is not ideal considering how little Billingsley was utilized within the Crimson Tide offense. However, the player can reaffirm his status as a potential Day 2 pick by keeping his head down and focusing on football upon returning to the gridiron.