Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Making moves in Round 1

(Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) Isaiah Foskey
(Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) Isaiah Foskey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) Dalton Kincaid /

Carolina Panthers select Dalton Kincaid

  • Tight End | Utah Utes

It’s no secret the Carolina Panthers are in the market for a tight end. That became official after an underwhelming season from Ian Thomas and Tommy Tremble.

Thankfully, Frank Reich and Scott Fitterer will have plenty of choices in free agency and the NFL Draft this offseason. There is an absurd amount of talent on the open market and in this upcoming class.

Whichever direction the team chooses to go, there is no bad option available.

In this mock draft, the Panthers use their lone second-round selection on Dalton Kincaid. The one-time Utah star weapon was one of the most productive players at his position this past season, catching 70 passes for nearly 900 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. A lot of those yards can be directed at his run-after-catch ability, which is considered amongst the best in the country.

The former University of San Diego player is the prototypical receiving tight end that NFL teams are looking for. He’s a fluid route runner with outstanding ball skills to pair with his incredible toughness and plenty of temperament as a blocker both from in the slot and in-line on running plays.

Kincaid will need to add more functional strength and improve his consistency as a blocker. However, he’s already good enough to be an immediate contributor at the next level, providing Anthony Richardson with a potential security blanket in this scenario.