Carolina Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: A new era dawns

(Stephanie Scarbrough/The Enquirer via IMAGN Content Services) Tyler Scott
(Stephanie Scarbrough/The Enquirer via IMAGN Content Services) Tyler Scott /
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Which way could the Carolina Panthers go with their 2023 NFL Draft selections following the hire of head coach Frank Reich?

It is a new era for the Carolina Panthers.

After two and half weeks of searching to find the franchise’s next head coach, the team announced that Frank Reich was selected to become Carolina’s leading figure on Thursday afternoon.

It is a homecoming for Reich, the first quarterback in the Panthers’ history in 1995. He is well-respected across the league and has received nothing but high praise from Indianapolis Colts fans despite a rocky end to his tenure.

Reich is known for being one of the better offensive minds in the sport. He has helped quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Nick Foles, Carson Wentz, Jacoby Brissett, and Phillip Rivers turn in big years and respectable numbers.

The former Panthers signal-caller could do the same again with his old team. With the coaching search now complete and Reich beginning his process of building a formidable staff, Carolina can now turn their attention to the offseason and the NFL Draft process.

Using the NFL Mock Draft Database simulator, I took a look at which way the Panthers might go with their upcoming selections following the hiring of Reich as Carolina’s head coach.

Round No. 1 (Trade)

Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer /

Carolina Panthers trade up to No. 3 overall

The Carolina Panthers will be a team to watch when it comes to the quarterback prospect carousel. With Frank Reich at the helm and more personnel control for general manager Scott Fitterer, it would be quite understandable if the team made an aggressive move for a potential franchise signal-caller.

That is what they do here in this mock draft scenario. Fitterer works out a deal with the Arizona Cardinals that would send the No. 3 overall selection to Carolina in exchange for pick No. 9, No. 61 (second-round), No. 131 (fourth-round), and a 2024 first-round selection.

This represents a massive deal that moves the Panthers in front of the quarterback-needy Indianapolis Colts. It would not be surprising to see Reich attempt to one-up his former team, and he does so here.