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
Trenton Simpson / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers could draft Trenton Simpson

Much has been made about the Carolina Panthers never selecting a prospect from nearby Clemson in franchise history. This is possibly a coincidence more than anything else, but it'll change at some point and Trenton Simpson might be the history-maker if he is still available at No. 39 overall. 

Simpson could end up in the first round given his exceptional blend of physicality and athleticism. He is a three-down force that can affect any given down, which is the sort of versatility the Panthers love in their defenders based on Scott Fitterer's previous two drafts. 

The prospect boasts tremendous closing speed and can go sideline-to-sideline with relative comfort. Simpson's instincts and football IQ are encouraging, with his ability to create pressure something else that teams usually covet heavily. 

Couple this with encouraging signs in coverage, and Simpson is the total package. He's not the finished article by any means, but the potential for growth is obvious upon further examination of his film. 

In all honesty, the Panthers would need a stroke of good fortune for Simpson to break the Clemson curse. And based on the lack of interest shown in the prospect by Carolina's brass, they hold the same option. 

Nothing can be ruled out just yet. If Simpson was around when Carolina goes on the clock early on Day 2, a serious discussion must be had. 

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