The Carolina Panthers struck gold in a recent two-round mock draft, which featured three dynamic offensive weapons to build around.
Even though the Carolina Panthers are going through something of a resurgence under Steve Wilks, their chances of playoff football are minimal at best and many fans are already casting one eye on an important offseason for the franchise.
A new head coach could potentially be coming into the fold if team owner David Tepper sees fit. Although the prospect of removing the interim tag from Wilks is gaining significant momentum in recent weeks and cannot be ignored.
Regardless of whether it’s Wilks or someone else, the Panthers have much work ahead in pursuit of improved fortunes. With financial flexibility at a premium, any improvements could come from which direction Carolina goes with its 2023 NFL Draft selections.
General manager Scott Fitterer has a bounty of selections in the top 150 after trading Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers. But using them well to strengthen key areas is of critical importance.
Carolina Panthers focus on offense in two-round TDN mock draft
This all starts with the quarterback position. And a recent two-round mock draft from Damian Parson of The Draft Network sees the Panthers strike gold with Bryce Young out of the top five and into their laps at No. 6 overall.
“The Panthers are rid of their cultural issues after the firing of former head coach Matt Rhule. This team has wasted picks and time on reclamation projects at quarterback with Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. It is time for a new face of the franchise with the leadership, accuracy, and abilities to make something out of nothing: Bryce Young.”
While there are concerns about Young’s size and longevity, this is an opportunity Carolina couldn’t pass up. The Alabama prospect’s poise, accuracy, and ability to make plays out of nothing would be a real asset – something Carolina hasn’t had under center since Cam Newton was controversially released in 2022.
Should the Panthers go down the quarterback route in Round No. 1 as expected, then it’s vital those in power strengthen the weapons around any incoming college prospect. This is a sentiment echoed by Parson, who mocked tight end Darnell Washington and running back Jahmyr Gibbs to the Panthers with their second-round selections.
“The Panthers do not have a reliable presence at the tight end position. Darnell Washington blocks like an offensive tackle with the athleticism in his frame to stretch the vertical seams. Imagine him blocking beside Ikem Ekwonu.”
If the offensive line stays together with a potential extension for Bradley Bozeman, this would give Young everything he needs to thrive. Carolina has other vital needs at linebacker and defensive end that could take priority – especially over another running back – but this is a tantalizing prospect for fans and one that could take the offense to greater heights as a result.
Carolina is also likely to appoint a new offensive coordinator next season in the wake of Ben McAdoo’s inconsistencies. So it’s essential that the head coach – whoever that might be – picks someone with a proven track record of developing young quarterbacks and easing their transition from college to the pros.
There’s a lot of football and evaluations left. However, this would be a home run for the Panthers and one that could solve all their problems in one fell swoop.