The 2023 draft class is loaded with talent at both the skill positions and everywhere else. Dynasty players must pay attention to landing spots to see which rookies get a boost or drop in value based on their new team. In this article, I’m going to look at the Carolina Panthers’ draft potential. The Panthers are an intriguing team who have a chance to land several rookie draft players.
Credit to the mock draft simulation goes to NFL Mock Draft Database Simulator.
The Carolina Panthers have a new coach and a lot of draft capital. The NFC South is bleak and waiting for someone to take command. Will the Carolina Panthers trade up and snag their franchise QB to pair with Frank Reich? For this exercise, no. They will not. Trading up is hard to predict, so I will act as if they will not trade any of their picks. The Panthers have a solid defense, a new, refurbished offensive line, and some weapons. It will be interesting to see if they will add their QB of the future in 2023.
1.09 – Myles Murphy, EDGE Clemson
To be honest, I don’t think that the Panthers will patiently wait at this pick. The McCaffrey trade gave them the ammo to trade up and get their future franchise QB. In this scenario, the board did not allow any of the top three quarterbacks to fall to them. Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, and Will Levis were all gone by the time the Panthers were on the clock. Many GMs might reach for QB4 (Anthony Richardson from Florida), but I don’t see it. He has arm strength and athleticism, but he needs time to develop his accuracy and his ability to read the field. Instead, I would add the best player available.
Murphy is going to make a formidable pair of edge rushers with Brian Burns. Murphy is young and still developing his pass-rush moves, but the potential is there. He has really good size and athleticism. I think he will test well at the combine. The college production wasn’t off the charts by any means, but I think he could be a better pro than a college EDGE rusher.
2.39 – Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Falling into the second round because of potential character issues (the man went a little wild in Atlanta before or after the SEC Championship) and lack of production as a Junior, Boutte still has the talent to be a first-round receiver. After trading away Robbie Anderson, the Panthers are in the market for a WR2. Boutte would compete with former teammate Terrace Marshall Jr., but I think that would be Boutte’s job to win.
While not the most polished route runner, he has flashed elite athleticism and YAC abilities. It will be interesting to see how he tests at the combine, but Boutte could become a legit WR2 in the NFL.
2.60 – Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse
With the second of the Panthers’ second-round picks, the Panthers snag Garrett Williams from Syracuse. Williams is an incredibly athletic corner. He may have been a first-round pick, but he tore his ACL in October. He will likely miss all of the preseason and maybe even some of the regular season, but I would still bet on his upside. With Donte Jackson recovering from his Achilles tear, the Panthers’ cornerback room has some question marks outside of Jaycee Horn. Will Donte Jackson ever be the same? Will CJ Henderson or Keith Taylor make a jump this offseason? Adding a cornerback with Williams’ upside could be huge for the Panthers’ defense.
3.92 – Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss
Next, the Panthers snag Ole Miss running back Evans. Dynasty players would have to love this landing spot. While having the traits of an NFL starting running back and flashing them at times, Evans was never truly dominant at TCU or Ole Miss. However, he has the size and athletic profile to be a true asset in dynasty if he gets an opportunity at the next level.
After trading Christian McCaffrey, D’Onta Foreman dominated the Carolina Panthers backfield. He is a free agent. If his price tag is too high, the Panthers may look to the draft for their next starting running back. With Chuba Hubbard as his main source of competition, I think Evans would win the starting job a few weeks into the season and never look back.
4.113 – Luke Wypler, IOL, Ohio State
With their first fourth-round pick, I went with the best available interior offensive lineman. The Panthers could really use some depth on the interior with the potential loss of Bradley Bozeman to free agency. Austin Corbett tore his ACL in the final game of the season, and he could miss most of the year. Wypler is one of the best centers in this class, and he could easily be ready to start at center as a rookie.
4.130 – Jammie Robinson, DB, Florida State
Robinson is an extremely versatile defensive back with exceptional coverage skills. He can play nickel or safety and could be a good fit manning the top of the defense next to Jeremy Chinn. He may not make it to day three after an exceptional Senior Bowl, but if Robinson is still here on draft day, the Panthers need to snag him.
5.145- Keion White, DL, Georgia Tech
The Panthers could use some interior line depth. Derrick Brown has one defensive tackle spot locked up, but 2022 starter Matt Ioannidis is a free agent. I don’t think White would be ready to start right away, but he would definitely get some snaps and would compete to be the best backup on the interior of the defensive line. White is very athletic for the position. He was originally an EDGE rusher out of high school, but he put on weight during his time at Old Dominion and made the switch to the interior. At the Senior Bowl, he flashed his elite traits and versatility. He would be a great day-three pick-up for the Panthers.
Fantasy Impact and Analysis
I think the player whose stock would rise the most based on this mock is Evans. He would be in a prime position to start behind a good offensive line. He would be splitting carries with Hubbard, who, in two seasons, has not showcased an ability to be an NFL-caliber running back. In rookie drafts, Evans would be a late first-round pick in the 10-12 range, with the upside to help dynasty teams in 2023 and beyond.
In this scenario, Boutte’s stock could take a hit. Dynasty managers may still have Terrace Marshall PTSD, and unless the Panthers can add a legit starting QB, they won’t be able to support two wide receivers in fantasy. Boutte would remain a mid-second-round pick in the 16-20 overall pick range. His upside would be limited until the Carolina Panthers can land a legitimate quarterback, which they haven’t been able to do since T.J. Watt demolished Cam Newton’s shoulder in 2018. Boutte has the potential to be a solid WR2, but he needs to end up in the right system.
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