Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Blockbuster trade edition
Carolina Panthers select K.J. Henry
- Defensive End/Outside Linebacker | Clemson Tigers
I’m not entirely sure what the Carolina Panthers will do at 3-4 outside linebacker and at the five-technique role in Ejiro Evero’s defense. From the looks of it, they might have their starting duo secured with Brian Burns and Frankie Luvu.
I do believe that Evero could use a versatile chess piece along the front seven that can play as either a stand-up rusher or with his hand in the dirt as a five-tech or 3-4 defensive end. That player could be K.J. Henry.
In the young history of the Panthers, the franchise has never selected a player from the Clemson Tigers program. Your guess is as good as mine as to why that isn’t the case, but that could change this year.
Henry was a critical part of Clemson’s defense this year. While the box score may not indicate him as a productive pass rusher, the former top-10 overall high school recruit showed the ability to get to the quarterback consistently. He offers great length, heavy and active hands, a fantastic motor, and the ability to get off blocks at a high clip.
Do I think Henry is going to be an All-Pro pass rusher? I don’t. Though, I see him being a very reliable chess piece in a rotational role early in his career.
I think Carolina and Evero would appreciate what the former Tiger brings to the table.