Grading the latest six major Carolina Panthers moves in 2023 free agency
Carolina Panthers signed Hayden Hurst
This takes us perfectly to the next major move. Finding a productive pass-catching tight end was necessary for the Carolina Panthers this offseason, especially after they declared their intentions to move forward with a rookie signal-caller with a bombshell trade-up to No. 1 overall.
Although there are plenty of worthy options entering the draft this year, the Panthers went with more experience. This saw Hayden Hurst join after an impressive spell with the Cincinnati Bengals, who instantly becomes the best tight end Carolina's benefitted from since Greg Olsen was in his prime.
Hurst is a widely underrated option. The former first-round pick is a dependable catching presence across the middle and also has the physicality to make his presence felt in red-zone situations for good measure.
There's also plenty to like about Hurst's athletic attributes, which are often overlooked. Whether it's C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, or someone else, this will become their best friend in no time and is going to eas the transition from college to the pros enormously.
Hurst's arrival has already been well-received and he is no stranger to the NFC South having spent two years with the Atlanta Falcons. This will allow Ian Thomas to focus more on blocking and could also see Tommy Tremble switch to a full-back role, which best suits their respective skill sets.