Carolina Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Strike it lucky edition

(Brianna Paciorka/The Knoxville News-Sentinel via IMAGN Content Services) Byron Young
(Brianna Paciorka/The Knoxville News-Sentinel via IMAGN Content Services) Byron Young /
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Carolina Panthers
(Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports) Emmanuel Forbes /

Carolina Panthers select Emmanuel Forbes

  • Cornerback | Mississippi State Bulldogs

Anyone that’s read my recent mock drafts knows how highly one feels the Carolina Panthers should prioritize getting another cornerback into the fold. After C.J. Henderson and Keith Taylor Jr. were exposed significantly by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17, this opinion is growing larger by the day.

Jaycee Horn and Donte Jackson’s troubles with injury over the last two years indicate more is required. The Panthers simply cannot rely on Henderson and Taylor in prominent starting roles – one only has to examine how Tom Brady picked them apart to see that.

The modern-day NFL requires multiple cornerbacks capable of providing solid man coverage. This is something Emmanuel Forbes has done almost flawlessly at the college level during a standout stint with Mississippi State.

It’s hard not to love the way Forbes goes about his business. His length, physicality in press coverage, and route anticipation make him an intriguing prospect capable of making a real impression right out of the gate.

While there is work for Forbes to do in terms of run-stopping and being effective consistently in zone schemes, this is a player worth keeping a close eye on during the evaluation process. One that could make Carolina a force to be reckoned with in the secondary provided Jackson and Horn’s health problems don’t continue in 2023.