Realistic expectations for every Carolina Panthers draft pick in 2023
Chandler Zavala - Carolina Panthers OL
Carolina Panthers fans went into Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft hoping for better value and draft picks. Supporters got what they asked for with North Carolina State offensive lineman Chandler Zavala.
The team was in need of interior offensive line depth, especially with Austin Corbett and Brady Christensen's statuses for Week 1 still up in the air. That means adding backups or potential starters in place of the injured right and left guards were important for Carolina. Zavala helps with that tremendously.
There is a little bit of concern with Zavala. He will need to improve his footwork and hand placement and also needs to take better angles to cut off pursuit angles in the run game while.
Thankfully, he has offensive line coach James Campen assisting with his early development - one of the most respected guys around.
Justin McCray and Cade Mays are the more experienced players on the interior with significantly more playing time in the pros than Zavala, but I don't expect the former Fairmont State transfer to start in place of the injured Christensen or Corbett at the moment.
However, if the latter were to be healthy in time for training camp, there could be competition for the starting left guard spot.
In his rookie season, Zavala offers the talent to compete for playing time. If Christensen does not work at left guard in 2023, Ikem Ekwonu's former college teammate could be a part of a steady offensive line heading into his sophomore year in the NFL.