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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Carolina Panthers
(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) Felix Anudike-Uzomah /

Carolina Panthers could draft Felix Anudike-Uzomah

  • Defensive End/Outside Linebacker | Kansas State Wildcats

Once the Carolina Panthers secure their future franchise quarterback, the next pressing item is to strengthen their pass-rushing options. Something that’s an absolute necessity after Yetur Gross-Matos couldn’t meet expectations in the immediate aftermath of Haason Reddick’s departure.

Brian Burns continues to evolve into one of the league’s most explosive edge rushers. Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero likes to generate pressure heavily as part of his 3-4 base system, so the more options Carolina has, the better.

Although he’s still raw, Felix Anudike-Uzomah has the raw power and speed to evolve into a productive NFL pass-rusher with further refinement. His growth over two years starting at Kansas State was highly encouraging, racking up 19.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss along the way.

Anudike-Uzomah’s skill set looks tailor-made for a 3-4 scheme, which is exactly what the Panthers need if they want to maximize Evero’s time with the organization. While his explosiveness off the block isn’t elite by any stretch, the prospect more than makes up for this with long arms and stout resolve against the run.

The player can operate as a 3-4 defensive end or as an outside linebacker under Evero. This versatility is unlikely to go unnoticed by the Panthers, who are in desperate need of consistency opposite Burns to take this defense to a different level.

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