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Carolina Panthers 7-round 2023 mock draft

We go through a full seven-round mock draft for the Carolina Panthers ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass during the second quarter of the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Kansas State Wildcats at Caesars Superdome on December 31, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The 2023 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 27. Coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. After a big trade with the Chicago Bears, the Carolina Panthers will find themselves on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick.

They are searching for their quarterback of the future and hope the pick can be as profitable as it was the last time they drafted first overall, back in 2011. Carolina selected Cam Newton, who went on to win Rookie of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, and the NFL’s MVP during his tenure with the Panthers.

Significant free agency additions

  • WR Adam Thielen
  • WR DJ Chark
  • RB Miles Sanders
  • TE Hayden Hurst
  • C Bradley Bozeman
  • DL Shy Tuttle
  • S Vonn Bell

Significant free agency losses

  • RB D’Onta Foreman
  • WR DJ Moore (trade to CHI)
  • QB Sam Darnold
  • QB PJ Walker
  • C Pat Eflein
  • OT Cam Erving
  • LB Cory Littleton

Panthers 7-round mock draft

With the Panthers on the clock, let’s look at a 7-round mock draft on PFN where trade offers are on the table.

1. Bryce Young, Alabama
39. Drew Sanders, Arkansas
93. Zach Harrison, Ohio State
114. Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
132. Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
145. Jaquelin Roy, LSU

I still think Stroud is the better quarterback prospect, but Carolina has all but said that Young is the choice. The biggest concern with him is his size. Talent levels are certainly different, but Carolina watched as the 6-foot-1 Baker Mayfield struggled with batted passes when under center a season ago. Young is three inches shorter, but that apparently isn’t concerning to the Panthers brass. The team will likely be working on adding muscle to their franchise quarterback ahead of Week 1 this fall.

After the quarterback solution is found in the first round, Carolina’s biggest remaining team needs include ILB, WR, DE and OG. Sanders projects as the top interior linebacker in this class, so getting him with the eighth overall pick in the second round feels like a solid choice for the Panthers. Harrison is a talented end that could play meaningful snaps at the start of the season or could be developed behind Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos.

Stromberg is likely more of a center, but Carolina could look at moving him around the offensive to see if he can help fill their need at guard or if he really is a true pro center. Either way, he is going to be helpful going forward. The Panthers improved their wide receiving corps by signing Thielen and Chark after trading away Moore to move up to No. 1. The work isn’t finished at the position, though, and Hutchinson is a talented pass-catcher that could be the team’s WR3.

Roy provides late-round defensive tackle depth. Maybe it has become the simulation that kept offering me trades that included getting rid of Derrick Brown, but it feels like some reassurance on the defensive line interior was a smart move. This mid-fifth-round pick was the last scheduled draft pick for the Panthers heading into draft night.