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
(Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports) DeMarcco Hellams /

Carolina Panthers select DeMarcco Hellams

  • Safety | Alabama

While the safety tandem of Jeremy Chinn and Xavier Woods impressed over the early stages of the campaign, the Carolina Panthers have no reliable depth behind the starting duo. Sean Chandler’s days are likely numbered after his former college coach Matt Rhule was dismissed, with Myles Hartsfield and Sam Franklin nothing more than rotational pieces at best that can easily be replaced.

The Panthers aren’t blessed with much draft capital and have more pressing needs. So the onus will be on general manager Scott Fitterer to do what he does best – finding late-round gems that can immediately assist.

DeMarcco Hellams has the physicality that could interest Carolina. He loves coming down into the box and making an impact against the run, with the Alabama prospect also capable of making his presence felt by rushing the passer on blitz packages.

Hellams has the size and frame that already looks NFL-ready. His football IQ is something in keeping with a defensive back operating in Nick Saban’s system and there is a lot to like about his man coverage skills for good measure.

There is some work for Hellams to do in zone packages. Technical improvements will also be needed for the next level if the player doesn’t want to become a liability from an infringement standpoint.