As the NFL season comes to an end, it’s already time for fans of several franchises to start looking towards the 2023 NFL Draft. With several teams now well out of playoff contention, it is time to look at the incoming draft prospects who could possibly turn things around.
The Carolina Panthers were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday can now focus on a pivotal offseason from the franchise. Everything starts with their head coaching decision and from there, who they will take with their top NFL Draft selection. Here, we’ll focus on where the Panthers currently stand with and who they could possibly select with their first-round pick.
Panthers draft order: No. 9 pick
The Panthers lost to the Buccaneers in a 30-24 loss on Sunday. As mentioned before, that loss officially eliminated them from postseason contention in a year where they had a shot at the NFC South title even with a below .500 record. As of now, they hold the No. 9 pick and there’s potential for them to either rise up the board or fall depending on how the standings shake out in Week 18.
Panthers mock draft: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida
It’s hard to gauge where Carolina would go in this scenario. It all hinges on the new head coach and in particular, his feelings on starting quarterback Sam Darnold. For this exercise, we’ll assume that the Panthers have decided to use their first-rounder to target a potential franchise QB of the future.
At No. 9, top prospect Bryce Young will be well off the board as well as CJ Stroud. We’ll assume another franchise in the top 10 will buy into the Will Levis hype, so we’ll have Carolina taking a gamble on Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. The Gator QB is already being touted for his raw ability and physical attributes that could make him a dynamic NFL quarterback. He has good size at 6’4”, 232 pounds and has put on display his arm strength and speed. However, he had major accuracy issues as he completed just under 54% of his passes this past season. He would be a major work in progress for whoever takes the head coaching job in Charlotte.