Carolina Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Starting over edition

(Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via IMAGN Content Services) C.J. Stroud
(Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via IMAGN Content Services) C.J. Stroud /
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Carolina Panthers
(Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports) Jermaine Burton /

Carolina Panthers select Jermaine Burton

  • Wide Receiver | Alabama

There are some obvious concerns about the long-term situation at wide receiver. D.J. Moore has the talent, but Robbie Anderson could be traded or cut before the 2023 NFL Draft and it remains to be seen if the likes of Terrace Marshall Jr., Shi Smith, or Laviska Shenault Jr. can step up into prominent starting positions.

What’s important for the Carolina Panthers is giving C.J. Stroud everything he needs to be successful in this scenario. Rookie quarterbacks who start right out of the gate go through some growing pains, so the more weapons he can call upon, the better.

Jermaine Burton is a prospect of interest that could end up being a steal at this stage of the draft. His transfer from Georgia to Alabama’s gone pretty smoothly with 16 receptions for 217 receiving yards and three touchdowns to date, which isn’t bad considering he’s getting much more attention from opposing defenses than the wideout ever received on the Bulldogs.

Burton was seen as a deep specialist before the 2022 season. However, the receiver’s route-running is coming on leaps and bounds and the prospect’s also impressed getting off press coverage.

Next year’s wide receiver class isn’t looking too promising compared to recent seasons. This means Burton could go much higher than this when it’s all said and done, leaving the Panthers looking at alternative options given their needs elsewhere.