Carolina Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: BPA edition

Trenton Simpson
Trenton Simpson / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
Byron Young / Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA

Carolina Panthers draft Byron Young

  • Defensive Line | Tennessee Volunteers | No. 114 overall

Even though the Carolina Panthers brought in Shy Tuttle and DeShawn Williams during free agency, they could still use an explosive presence to assist in pass-rushing situations. Those in power are looking for a veteran if the price is right according to Mike Kaye of The Charlotte Observer, but that shouldn't put them off from taking a college prospect to further strengthen their options. 

Looking at the team's current depth and the impending switch to a 3-4 base scheme, Byron Young looks like a player that could slot in seamlessly. The former Tennessee stud has the perfect physique to potentially become a starting defensive end alongside Derrick Brown, with Tuttle adopting the nose tackle position.

Young's two years as a starter with the Volunteers came with encouraging progression. With 12.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in 23 games, the upward trajectory is something that won't go unnoticed by NFL scouts, so there's a good chance he could go much higher than this - potentially as a Day 2 pick once more prolific prospects are off the board. 

Although he's not got the biggest frame, Young more than makes up for this by overwhelming opposing offensive linemen with sound technique, good instincts, and long arms that create the necessary leverage. 

There are concerns about how his skill set translates to the pros and whether adding more mass will impact the agility element of his game. But it wouldn't cost the Panthers much to find out at this stage of the draft.