The 2023 NFL Draft came and went last week and the Carolina Panthers were able to answer most of its needs prior to the upcoming season.
Round one was a success as the team had the first pick in the entire draft and, as expected, chose quarterback Bryce Young out of Alabama.
Young has all of the intangibles you want in a quarterback. He can be the Panthers’ franchise QB with his ability to create plays and leadership skills.
Carolina used round two to get Young another offensive weapon. Jonathan Mingo, a receiver from Ole Miss. Mingo should take well to the Panthers’ offense. He will likely be the ‘run after catch’ threat on short passes underneath while also being a deep threat. At 6’2”, 220 pounds, Mingo has size to go along with his explosiveness. Mingo’s also viewed as a great run blocker.
Round three brought the Panthers the edge rusher they needed in DJ Johnson. The Oregon product brings an abundance of skills to the Panthers defense. A former tight end, Johnson stands at 6’4”, 260 pounds, and ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He’s explosive, has the great speed to get to the quarterback, and the strength needed to be a pass rusher.
Carolina turned to the ACC to add depth to its offensive line. The team’s fourth round pick was Chandler Zavala from North Carolina State. The former Wolfpack will vie for a starting slot at guard. His game features strong run-blocking skills.
The Panthers only had five picks in this year’s draft and their fifth round pick may end up being the biggest surprise of their choices. Jammie Robinson of Florida State should fit right in the team’s defensive backfield. Carolina views him as a candidate to cover opposing slot receivers. Known as a physical player, Robinson will also be an asset in stopping the run.
As a group, this quintet will give the franchise a new look, both on offense and on defense. The offense, with Young behind center, will be more explosive. The defense, already an above-average group, should be even better. A run at a NFC South title is a definite possibility.