4 big winners from the Carolina Panthers 2023 NFL Draft
By Dean Jones
Chuba Hubbard - Carolina Panthers RB
When the Carolina Panthers signed Miles Sanders in free agency and allowed D'Onta Foreman to walk, it threw a major spanner into the running back room. One that put almost everyone on notice that anything was possible in terms of personnel under the new regime.
Many mock drafts had the Panthers taking another gifted backfield presence from the college ranks. This would have left Chuba Hubbard facing an uncertain future despite making strides in 2022, but those in power opted to spend what little draft capital they had elsewhere.
This should excite Hubbard and provide the former fourth-round selection with plenty of confidence heading into his third season. He'll likely fill the primary backup role behind Sanders, which is something he did extremely well working alongside Foreman once Christian McCaffrey was traded before the deadline.
If we're being honest, this is no more than Hubbard deserves. Things didn't look good for the Oklahoma State product after an indifferent rookie campaign, but the player deserves endless credit for maximizing reps, improving his pass-catching, and even making a contribution to the blocking aspect of the position that wasn't evident previously.
Carolina avoiding the temptation to draft a running back is great news for Hubbard. Hopefully, he continues to progress in all areas of his game and produces the goods when called upon.