6 local prospects the Carolina Panthers could select in the 2023 NFL Draft

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Keaton Mitchell / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers could draft Keaton Mitchell

East Carolina’s Keaton Mitchell is a speedy running back with home-run potential whenever he touches the ball. The addition of Miles Sanders along with Chuba Hubbard returning is set to be a good backfield room, but adding the prospect late in this year’s draft can create serious problems for defenses.

Mitchell is excellent as a receiver, with 60 receptions, 580 receiving yards, and three touchdowns in his collegiate career with the Pirates. He also averaged more than seven yards per carry this past season, rushing for almost 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2022.

While he didn’t test very well in terms of agility and measured at just 5-foot-7 and 179 pounds, Mitchell’s knack for explosion and big gains will provide value at the next level.

With his blazing speed and good hands, Mitchell can begin his career as a return specialist and fill in a solid role as backup to Sanders and Hubbard. Something that should be considered despite Raheem Blackshear flashing in a similar role after being scooped up off the Buffalo Bills' practice squad.

Carolina is taking a quarterback at No. 1 overall. Therefore, the next logical step would be to surround their new signal-caller with everything needed to be successful.