Panthers 7-round 2023 mock draft: Life after Christian McCaffrey
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers select Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu
- Offensive Tackle | Oregon
Although the Carolina Panthers offensive line is among the NFL’s most improved groups, continuing to enhance depth behind the starting unit is essential. Considering how costly offensive linemen are in free agency, doing this through the draft is the best possible solution.
Providing the Panthers can work out a contract extension with starting center Bradley Bozeman, the starting lineup could be set for years to come. Hopefully, the likes of Cade Mays can provide backup assistance, but taking a flier on a prospect with the athletic attributes of Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu with the team’s final 2023 draft selection could be worth its weight in gold.
Aumavae-Laulu has that Hawaiian strength synonymous with players from the region. He is not in the same stratosphere as Penei Sewell, the most recent Ducks tackle to make it in the pros, but he didn’t give up a sack in 2021 and has the length needed to play a role in the NFL with more development.
The prospect plays long and has enough intelligence to cope with almost any pass-rushing move. There is a susceptibility against speedier edge defenders, so his movement skills need brushing up significantly before seeing an NFL field.
Carolina would need nothing more than a depth chart piece given the presence of Taylor Moton and Ikem Ekwonu. A true bookmark tackle tandem that the team has been craving for almost a decade.
With that being said, Aumavae-Laulu has room to grow and could end up being another late-round gem for general manager Scott Fitterer’s collection.