Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Bringing sexy back edition

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Darnell Washington
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Darnell Washington /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Darnell Washington /

Carolina Panthers draft Darnell Washington

  • Tight End | Georgia Bulldogs

Now that the Carolina Panthers have their franchise quarterback, it’s vital they provide enough weapons around him for a smooth transition. This turns the focus to bolstering the team’s tight end options either via free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft.

According to Mike Kaye of the Charlotte Observer, he expects the Panthers to be aggressive in pursuit of finding an upgrade on Ian Thomas and Tommy Tremble based on things he’s heard at the NFL Scouting Combine. And there was a lot to like about the tight ends during drills, who put on a show in front of scouts and key front office personnel.

One player that caught everyone’s attention was Darnell Washington. The physical specimen displayed his elite athleticism with a standout display in Indianapolis, which also included a jaw-dropping one-handed catch that drew gasps from those in attendance.

Washington’s performance during the combine means he could enter first-round consideration. He was behind Brock Bowers on the Georgia Bulldogs’ depth chart, but that is no slight whatsoever considering his former teammate could be a top-five selection in 2024.

If everything clicks for Washington, he could be the complete package. An NFL-ready blocker that represents a mismatch nightmare for slot cornerbacks or linebackers across the middle and especially in the red zone.