4 players the Carolina Panthers should regret not drafting in 2023

Hindsight is a wonderful thing...

Byron Young
Byron Young / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers should have drafted De'Von Achane

When the Carolina Panthers traded Christian McCaffrey and opted to not bring back D'Onta Foreman in free agency, many wondered what those in power would decide at the running back position. Most thought they would acquire a dynamic figure via the 2023 NFL Draft. They chose to allocate decent money in the direction of Miles Sanders instead.

As we all know, Sanders fluffed his lines during his first season in Carolina. Had it not been for some encouraging growth from Chuba Hubbard when installed as the No. 1 option, it would have been even worse for rookie quarterback Bryce Young.

De'Von Achane would have changed all that in an instant. The speedy backfield threat was a revelation for the Miami Dolphins in 2023. Had the former Texas A&M star not gotten hurt, there's just no telling the sort of numbers he could have put up.

In 11 games - four of which he started - Achane notched 800 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Thanks to his influence in the passing game, his all-purpose total stood at 997. This was just three yards shy of reaching four figures despite missing six games.

Achane was taken four spots after the Panthers traded up for D.J. Johnson. Had Scott Fitterer gone with the running back instead, it's hard to envisage a scenario where the offense wouldn't be more effective rather than handing a bad contract to Sanders.