4 Carolina Panthers rookies who can help themselves most at 2023 minicamp
By Dean Jones
Chandler Zavala - Carolina Panthers OL
Chandler Zavala made no secret of his desire to join the Carolina Panthers. He was in constant contact with the war room throughout the draft, even texting general manager Scott Fitterer on Day 3 to see whether the player's dream would become reality.
Zavala's fate was finally confirmed when the Panthers selected him in the fourth round. Something that came with jubliation from offensive line coach James Campen, who was clearly thrilled beyond measure to get the former North Carolina State standout on board.
The hard work starts now for Zavala, who has a monumental opportunity to earn starting reps right out of the gate. Brady Christensen looks set to be healthy for the campaign's start, but the prognosis is less optimistic about Austin Corbett, who'll miss some time in 2023 after tearing his ACL against the New Orleans Saints in Week 18.
The likes of Justin McCray and Cade Mays will fancy their chances. However, the ferocious mauler stands a good chance of provoking a discussion among the coaching staff if nothing else.
Zavala brought on his pass protection considerably last season and is a dominant figure on running downs. His explosiveness is in keeping with some eye-popping athleticism for a man his size, although staying engaged against bigger defensive linemen can sometimes be an issue.