Carolina Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Taking chances early

(Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports) Luke Schoonmaker
(Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports) Luke Schoonmaker /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) Dorian Williams /

Carolina Panthers select Dorian Williams

  • Linebacker | Tulane Green Wave

This past season, the Carolina Panthers enjoyed the emergence of Frankie Luvu as a cornerstone piece to an emerging and talented defense to go alongside Shaq Thompson. The only problem is that the Washington product could be a potential cap casualty this off-season.

This leaves the middle linebacker position open for business in free agency and the NFL Draft. A position that’s become a revolving door since the great Luke Kuechly retired after the 2019 campaign.

Scott Fitterer mentioned in his end-of-season press conference that he will be looking for speed at linebacker. If Thompson were to be let go, the Panthers would be looking at free agency and the draft for a new starter to quarterback the defense.

Could that be Tulane’s Dorian Williams? Certainly.

Williams seems like the late-round linebacker that could emerge as a future starter with time in the weight room. The prospect also needs to improve his ability to stack and shed blocks and read and react to what the offense throws at him.

As a three-star recruit and a leader of the Green Wave’s defense, Williams displays good length and is a sure-fire tackler. He plays with an edge and has a non-stop motor that could see him get playing time on special teams as he develops into a starter.

Williams offers an adequate range of decent coverage skills with plenty of room for improvement under the watchful eye of Carolina’s new coaching staff.

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