Carolina Panthers 2023 NFL Draft scouting report: Jack Campbell
By Luke Gray
Could the Carolina Panthers identify Jack Campbell as their long-awaited successor to the great Luke Kuechly during the 2023 NFL Draft?
Since Luke Kuechly shocked the NFL world when he ended his Pro Football Hall of Fame career in 2020, the Carolina Panthers have struggled immensely to final long-term replacement at middle linebacker. We’ve seen Tahir Whitehead, Jermaine Carter Jr., and Damien Wilson all line up at the position and none have come close to emulating the quality of No. 59.
Despite all the positives that have come during the off-season, the Panthers have not added to a linebacker room that is looking bare. Wilson was released and Cory Littleton was not re-signed following his one-year deal, leaving Carolina short of options as they switch to a base 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.
A key retention in the linebacker room was Shaq Thompson. The 2015 first-round pick was a potential cap casualty this offseason with his $24.46 million cap hit, but the team captain and leader of the locker room returned on a restructured deal to the delight of fans.
While Thompson is a certainty, who’ll be starting alongside him is a mystery. Frankie Luvu might be a candidate, but his best work may come as an outside linebacker.
The Panthers drafted Brandon Smith in the fourth round out of Penn State a season ago. And while the former five-star recruit flashed under interim head coach Steve Wilks, an ankle injury curtailed his rookie campaign when momentum was building.
This leaves the Panthers with more questions than answers in the middle of the defense. Those in power may look to the draft in order to improve the position and Iowa’s Jack Campbell is one of the best linebackers in the class.
Without further ado, let’s break down Campbell and how he could impact the Panthers in this special scouting report.