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
Jayden Reed / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

Carolina Panthers draft Jayden Reed

  • Wide Receiver | Michigan State Spartans | No. 132 overall

Losing D.J. Moore as part of the trade that secured the No. 1 overall selection was a calculated risk. If it finally gets the Carolina Panthers a true franchise presence under center, it's worth sacrificing the team's most consistent pass-catcher over the last four seasons. 

The Panthers offset Moore's departure by signing Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark in free agency. They also managed to get their hands on Hayden Hurts - an athletic tight end that should finally provide this position group with a stable presence in the passing game. 

No team can ever have enough difference-makers at the skill spots. If Jayden Reed is around at this juncture, it could be a fantastic pickup by the Panthers in pursuit of making life easier for their rookie signal-caller. 

Reed is an interesting prospect and could be a starting slot option sooner than expected. He might have what's classed as elite speed, but what the wideout does provide is assured route-running and proven credentials when it comes to generating yards after the catch. 

While he doesn't have the necessary size to make an impact as an outside receiver, Reed is intelligent enough to create separation and has a strong work ethic that would fit in well with Carolina's new regime. 

Learning from a savvy route-runner like Thielen would be an outstanding tool for Reed's early development. The prospect also has experience as a kick returner that could help until prominent targets are earned.