Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Swinging big edition

(Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports) Jahmyr Gibbs
(Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports) Jahmyr Gibbs /
1 of 9

Could the Carolina Panthers go for some home run moves in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft?

The 2022 NFL season has officially ended, but there is little downtime thanks to the offseason circus. The NFL Scouting Combine is only a little more than a week away, so the keen eyes of coaches, general managers, and scouts around the league will be watching young prospects try to prove themselves.

In particular, the Carolina Panthers are a team to watch out for when draft night rolls around. Scott Fitterer has a lot of chess pieces to work with if he so desires, and making daring moves to push the team into long-term contention should be considered.

The well-known quarterback issue for the Panthers may finally be at its merciful end by the closure of the draft. And there are a handful of quarterback prospects that Carolina can choose from if Fitterer trades up.

Using the mock draft simulator devised by Pro Football Focus, we took a look at which way Carolina might go with their draft selections. This starts with a bold move to kick things off.

Round No. 1 (Trade)

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer /

Carolina Panthers trade up to No. 1 overall

The price to move up to No. 1 overall in the draft is steep. But the Carolina Panthers have the choice of any quarterback prospects on the board in this scenario.

While the Chicago Bears may not trade out and decide to move Justin Fields instead, next year’s class is as good or better than the 2023 group. Therefore, the NFC North outfit may as well give the signal-caller one more season, and they get good draft capital for next year along with an early second-rounder.

Now that Carolina has made the all-in move, who do they select with it?