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

(Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports) Jahmyr Gibbs
(Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports) Jahmyr Gibbs /
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Carolina Panthers
(Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports) Bryce Young /

Carolina Panthers draft Bryce Young

  • Quarterback | Alabama Crimson Tide

The Carolina Panthers go all in on Bryce Young to start this mock draft. The quarterback position is by far the most crucial to fill on any football team and despite Will Levis, Anthony Richardson, and C.J. Stroud all being good prospects with potential, none of them are as good as the former Alabama star at this stage of their careers.

He may not have won a national championship in his two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide, but Young’s performances were a marvel to the eyes of everyone who watched him.

Young won the Heisman Trophy and led Alabama to a national championship appearance in his first year as a starter in 2021. Despite missing a couple of games in 2022, he still finished sixth in the Heisman voting.

The prospect’s biggest strengths are escapability, decision-making, and the ability to make off-time passes from inside and outside the pocket. Young has pinpoint accuracy for a college quarterback, and that will ease his transition to the NFL.

His overall playmaking ability is not quite at this level, but it is comparable to the likes of Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, who are both MVP-level quarterbacks.

A couple of areas of concern are Young’s height and the fact that he will hold onto the ball for too long. But despite being overly patient, NFL coaching can iron out that weakness in his game.

Regardless of his 6-foot frame, other quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Kyler Murray, and Russell Wilson at a similar height have had great success. With Frank Reich coaching him in his quarterback-friendly offense and playing with a playmaker like D.J Moore, Young has the potential to turn into a top-five NFL quarterback within a few seasons.

Round No. 2 (Trade)

Carolina Panthers trade up in Round No. 2

For the next pick in the mock draft, the Panthers again trade up. This time, to take a chance on a playmaker for their rookie quarterback.