5 draft prospects for the Panthers to replace Christian McCaffrey in 2023

(Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports) Jahmyr Gibbs
(Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports) Jahmyr Gibbs /
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Which 2023 NFL Draft prospects could the Carolina Panthers potentially have their eye on after trading Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers?

Fans are looking to the future after some landmark changes across the Carolina Panthers over the last fortnight. Matt Rhule was deservedly fired as head coach after an abysmal three years in the post, with the organization also deciding to trade away Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey for six draft selections to put themselves in a better position long-term.

The loss of McCaffrey will be sorely felt. His production remained exemplary despite the obvious struggles on offense under Ben McAdoo, but Carolina felt this was the right time to rid themselves of a hefty contract and allow the former Stanford star an opportunity to land on a team that could become playoff challengers.

Considering money will be tight, it’s highly likely that the Panthers will look towards the college ranks for a solution at running back. Something that’s in keeping with what many expect to also transpire at the quarterback position.

With this in mind, here are five 2023 NFL Draft prospects the Panthers could draft to succeed McCaffrey in 2023.

Prospect No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Charbonnet /

Carolina Panthers could draft Zach Charbonnet

Transferring from Michigan to UCLA has done wonders for Zach Charbonnet’s draft prospects. The explosive back came to life with additional responsibilities on his shoulders, going over 1,000 rushing yards in 2021, and looks well on course to attain similar feats this time around.

Charbonnet can also assist in catching out of the backfield and has an eye for the end zone. If the Carolina Panthers turn their attentions elsewhere early, this could be a prospect worth selecting on Day 2 providing there are no complications in the meantime.