Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Changing places edition

(Michael Caterina/Notre Dame Insider via IMAGN Content Services) Michael Mayer
(Michael Caterina/Notre Dame Insider via IMAGN Content Services) Michael Mayer /
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Carolina Panthers
(Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports) Emmanuel Forbes /

Carolina Panthers draft Emmanuel Forbes

  • Cornerback | Mississippi State

Jaycee Horn’s emergence into one of the league’s best shutdown cornerbacks is a solid foundation from which to build. C.J. Henderson is also making encouraging progress in recent weeks, but Donte Jackson’s ongoing injury complications could mean the Carolina Panthers go looking for another option in the near future.

Considering how tight things are from a financial standpoint, acquiring another gifted defensive back from the college ranks is a realistic option. And judging by Emmanuel Forbes‘ performances at Mississippi State this season, he fits the mold of what Carolina is attempting to create on defense.

Forbes has the length, athleticism, and football IQ to hit the ground running. Something we’ve seen plenty from first-year cornerbacks over the last two years at a position that takes more adjustment than most.

Another area where Forbes stands out is agility. He has no problem tracking the football and getting to its highest point, with his prowess for changing direction on routes something else the prospect has working in his favor.

While some work is needed in terms of run defense, Forbes has the scope to develop into an outstanding NFL cornerback. Someone that could take Carolina’s secondary into a completely different stratosphere.