Carolina Panthers wide receiver Jonathan Mingo has already started turning head within the building ahead of prominent involvement as a rookie in 2023.
Considering Jonathan Mingo was a high-end second-round selection, the hype from those outside the Carolina Panthers has been relatively few and far between. Obviously, the primary focus of the national media centers on Bryce Young - the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft - which isn't surprising when one considers what the franchise gave up to get their hands on the quarterback.
Young's poise and quick command of the huddle only raised expectations about what could be achieved with the former Alabama signal-caller under center. But there is a growing belief within the Panthers that Mingo might also have a significant part to play in 2023.
Carolina Panthers impressed by Jonathan Mingo's transition
Carolina's wide receiver room has a different look after trading D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears. Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark were acquired in free agency to provide immediate assistance and veteran leadership, with hopes high surrounding Terrace Marshall Jr. given his recent upturn in confidence in the wake of Matt Rhule's enforced removal.
Mingo might be No. 4 on the depth chart currently, but that's unlikely to be the case for long. When discussing the former Ole Miss star's transition to the Panthers, Cameron Wolfe from the NFL Network stated via USA Today Sports that people within the building are pleasantly surprised by his contribution over early offseason workouts.
"I can tell ya this—talking with people in the building, they’ve been very impressed with Jonathan Mingo, their second-round pick. He’s developing chemistry with Bryce Young. Actually talked with Thomas Brown, their offensive coordinator, before practice and he mentioned one thing that surprised him about Mingo is that he’s more fluid than maybe they initially expected. He’s not this stiff, big receiver even though he’s one of the bigger impact players. And so expect Jonathan Mingo to have a big role within this team."- Cameron Wolfe via USA Today Sports
The fact Brown, in particular, has been impressed by Mingo is telling. Carolina's offensive coordinator will take over play-calling duties from Frank Reich at some stage during the campaign and has been carving the playbook from scratch this offseason - so expect to see some specifically-designed plays for the No. 39 overall selection incorporated if he keeps showing out.
Much like the situation surrounding Young, expecting Mingo to immediately step in and produce Moore's numbers is unrealistic and unfair in actual measure. But there is nothing to suggest he cannot contribute on a rotational basis before gradually becoming a starting-caliber performer as trust builds.
Mingo got the seal of approval from Panthers legend Steve Smith Sr. throughout his pre-draft process. In the recent docuseries trailer, Reich also got the green light to draft the pass-catcher from none other than Young during his opening visit to Bank of America Stadium.
High praise, indeed.
There's a good chance Mingo can emerge into the next great wideout to emerge from the Rebels' program. D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown are thriving at the next level and Elijah Moore might be able to kickstart his career in 2023 following his trade to the Cleveland Browns.
It's been a smooth integration for Mingo. But we should find out more about what to expect when the pads start popping at Wofford College in Spartanburg.