5 second-round 2023 NFL Draft prospects the Panthers could target

(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) Felix Anudike-Uzomah
(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) Felix Anudike-Uzomah /
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Which 2023 NFL Draft prospects projected to go in the second round could the Carolina Panthers potentially look to acquire?

While new head coach Frank Reich is focusing on molding an outstanding coaching staff, general manager Scott Fitterer and other respected figures within the Carolina Panthers are currently putting offseason recruitment plans in place. And with money scarce currently, the 2023 NFL Draft represents the best chance of bolstering problem position groups.

Obviously, the Panthers need a franchise quarterback. Someone that can finally drag this franchise out of obscurity and into contention under the guidance of Reich and his exceptional team of experienced coaches with proven credentials.

It’s widely expected that the Panthers will either trade up or take their chances on any signal-caller left at No. 9 overall. They also have two second-round selections after trading Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers – which could strengthen other areas immediately.

With this in mind, here are five prospects projected for the second round that Carolina could potentially acquire in 2023.

Prospect No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports) John Michael Schmitz /

Carolina Panthers could draft John Michael Schmitz

  • Center | Minnesota Golden Gophers

Hopefully, the Carolina Panthers and Bradley Bozeman can work out a contract extension. If not, finding a replacement capable of filling the void becomes a top priority – especially considering the team looks set to release Pat Elflein with one year remaining on his deal.

Fortunately for the Panthers, this is a deep group of interior linemen. Something they must take advantage of with concerns surrounding Austin Corbett and Brady Christensen, too.

John Michael Schmitz is the consensus best center prospect entering the NFL this year. The former Minnesota standout has all the attributes needed to become a Day 1 starter with a smooth transition.