5 linebackers the Carolina Panthers could select in the 2023 NFL Draft

Trenton Simpson
Trenton Simpson / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
Drew Sanders / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers could draft Drew Sanders

One linebacker that the Carolina Panthers have reportedly taken an interest in throughout the evaluation process might be available at No. 39 overall. Drew Sanders is an accomplished performer hailing from the SEC, which is always considered the gold standard and something that holds a lot of weight among league scouts. 

Sanders looks every bit the middle linebacker in build and stature. Transferring from Alabama to Arkansas was the making of him in 2022, securing 9.5 sacks, 103 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, five passes defended, and three forced fumbles to resurrect his hopes of an NFL opportunity.

While Sanders isn't the most explosive, he does everything well. His pass rush from the interior is exceptional, regularly causing havoc with enough closing speed in pursuit of making a play. 

The prospect is also a thumping force against the run and more than holds his own in coverage. Sanders might be inexperienced, but his upward trajectory is something that could see further improvements come quickly once he firmly establishes himself on a professional roster. 

Once his tackling technique is refined and Sanders becomes more disciplined, he has all the makings of a high-impact performer. Someone that looks like a decent scheme fit for the Panthers, so it's hard to see why they've investigated further during their pre-draft evaluations.