Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: A surprise selection at No. 1

D.J. Turner
D.J. Turner / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 7
Carolina Panthers
Andre Carter II / Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers draft Andre Carter II

  • Edge Rusher | Army
  • Round No. 4 (Pick No. 114)

The Carolina Panthers are likely adding another pass rusher this off-season. Could it happen this week or three when the NFL Draft rolls around? There are plenty of possibilities.

As I have evaluated the upcoming draft class, this group of edge defenders stands out as deep with plenty of starting potential. One of those players that could find himself in the starting role during his rookie contract is Army's Andre Carter II.

Carter's frame is less than ideal coming into the league and he will need time to fill it out. However, he is quite explosive, and allowing him to come in on passing situations to stress offensive tackles in their vertical pass sets would be adequate for Ejiro Evero's multiple-attack defense.

The redshirt junior still has a ways to go in terms of improving his leverage in the run game and developing a pass-rush plan. Yet, he has the makings of a solid starting outside rush linebacker that can tee off from a 7-technique or wide-9 technique as a rotational player early in his career.

Having players like Brian Burns and Frankie Luvu to lean on for advice would also rub off positively on Carter. And now that his military commitments won't stop him from having an NFL career first, he's well worth taking at this stage of the draft.