Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Matt Corral traded, franchise QB landed

Matt Corral
Matt Corral / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
Emmanuel Forbes / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers draft Emmanuel Forbes

  • Cornerback | Mississippi State Bulldogs
  • Round No. 2 | Pick No. 39

After the Carolina Panthers select their franchise quarterback, there are two other pressing priorities that must be addressed immediately following their pick at No.1  overall. These center on finding a shutdown cornerback and a productive pass-rusher to put alongside Brian Burns. 

Much will depend on how the draft board plays out before Carolina goes on the clock at No. 39 overall. But if someone like Emmanuel Forbes is there for the taking, it's an opportunity those within the war room might find difficult to overlook. 

Forbes is the definition of a ballhawk and looks to have all the intangibles typically associated with shutdown cornerbacks at the next level. While there are concerns about his slender frame, the production is nothing short of elite and something that cannot be overlooked.

The Mississippi State product is lighting fast with quick-twitch reactions to move seamlessly on any route. This is matched by unbelievable reactions and anticipation to identify where the football is going and maximize turnover chances when they arrive. 

There is some room for Forbes to grow from a frame standpoint. This would help him become more dominant against the run and hold his own in press coverage, but this looks to be a high-value selection considering the prospect could easily go in the mid-to-late first round given his impressive evaluation process.