Panthers 7-round 2023 mock draft: Life after Christian McCaffrey

(Saul Young/The Knoxville News-Sentinel via IMAGN Content Services) Jalin Hyatt
(Saul Young/The Knoxville News-Sentinel via IMAGN Content Services) Jalin Hyatt /
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Carolina Panthers
(Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) Ivan Pace Jr. /

Carolina Panthers select Ivan Pace Jr.

  • Outside Linebacker | Cincinnati

The Carolina Panthers could be after some reinforcements at the second level in 2023. Considering money is tight and players such as Brian Burns and Jeremy Chinn could be extended, using draft capital on strengthening the linebacker room should be considered on multiple occasions.

Assuming Frankie Luvu is a lock to return and start, the Panthers could be on the lookout for two defenders depending on Shaq Thompson’s situation. Starting unproven professional players in this area of the field is a risk, but one that could reap some long-term gains if general manager Scott Fitterer and his staff secure some home runs.

Ivan Pace Jr. looks like a prospect of promise. The Cincinnati stud is a ferocious presence, boasting three-down capabilities that look best suited to an outside position once he gets to the NFL.

Pace has exceptional instincts and enough strength within his frame to set the edge against the run. Couple this with outstanding pass-rush explosiveness and it’s not hard to see why so many analysts are high on his chances at the next level.

There are some technical areas that need a little work. Pace can also add additional mass to cope with bigger, more imposing offensive linemen, but he is well worth a look at this stage.