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
(Nick King/Lansing State Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Jayden Reed /

Carolina Panthers select Jayden Reed

  • Wide Receiver | Michigan State Spartans

The Carolina Panthers struck out on the Shi Smith experience, leaving the former South Carolina Gamecock fighting for a 53-man roster spot in 2023. This means the team needs a true playmaker in the slot or someone that can be a reliable No. 3 wideout with Laviska Sheanult Jr. expected to be the gadget player in Frank Reich’s offense.

This year’s NFL Draft offers plenty of talent in the last two days of the draft, with analysts projecting them to be tight in terms of talent and where they are projected. In this mock draft, the Panthers acquire a standout player from the Senior Bowl, one that could provide inside-out versatility.

Enter, Jayden Reed.

The former Michigan State Spartan showed out big-time in Mobile, Alabama two weeks ago. Reed displayed the ability to show late hands at the catch point while offering a nice repertoire of release packages at the line of scrimmage to beat defenders cleanly off the ball.

Reed offers the short-area quickness and strong lower half to create yards after the catch, making him a potential playmaking receiver in the slot while also adding potential value as a returner on special teams. Something the Panthers are looking for this offseason as well.