Carolina Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Preaching patience

Dean Jones
(Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) Kyu Blu Kelly
(Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) Kyu Blu Kelly /
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Carolina Panthers
(Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) Noah Sewell /

Carolina Panthers select Noah Sewell

  • Linebacker | Oregon Ducks

Finding a worthy successor to the great Luke Kuechly has been difficult for the Carolina Panthers since the perennial All-Pro hung up his cleats after the 2019 campaign. Things did get better when Shaq Thompson moved to the second-level interior under Steve Wilks, but the veteran could be a salary-cap casualty based on the savings involved with his early departure.

Damien Wilson and Cory Littleton are unlikely to be around, either. This means finding adequate reinforcements to the linebacking room could be among the team’s top priorities in free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft.

Addressing this via the college ranks seems the cheapest and best option for sustainable success. If the Panthers opt for this route, then Noah Sewell is a player that can come in and make an immediate impression.

Sewell has the strength, explosiveness, and instincts to be a Day 1 starter with a high upside. The former Oregon standout sheds blocks with ease and possesses a relentless motor that enables sideline-to-sideline defense on all three downs.

Once Sewell learns to be more disciplined and finishes off plays with additional conviction, someone is going to have a real player on their hands. The brother of Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell could go even higher than this, but he’s a prospect of note in a position of need for Carolina.