5 quarterbacks the Carolina Panthers should avoid in 2023
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers should avoid Devin Leary
Much like the situation with Hendon Hooker, a season-ending injury to Devin Leary could have draft implications if the quarterback declares. But unlike the Tennessee product, he can give it another go in college next year as a redshirt junior.
Leary was projected by many to be a potential draft steal before the campaign and he started the season relatively well despite not having the benefit of Ikem Ekwonu’s presence on the North Carolina State protection. It was solid if not spectacular from the signal-caller before his campaign was cut short, but there are too many doubts surrounding whether his skills can make a smooth transition for the Carolina Panthers to contemplate this sort of move.
There are some size concerns and although Leary is capable of making most throws, his arm strength wouldn’t be classed as elite by any stretch of the imagination. Accuracy downfield is another red flag, even if this dramatically improves over short to intermediate routes thanks to the player’s ability to process the field quickly.
In all honesty, Leary should go back. There’s now a high chance he becomes a late-round selection or even goes undrafted in 2023, so betting on himself with another year of college experience could stand the prospect in good stead for the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Panthers are in a prime position to select either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud. Unless something drastic occurs between now and them, this should be a no-brainer if one of them is there for the taking.