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Carolina Panthers 2023 NFL Draft picks, analysis and prospect spotlight

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young smiles after being selected by the Carolina Panthers with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on April 27, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. Img 0010 2

The 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books. After a flurry of selections from Thursday to Saturday, 259 players were selected to join the NFL.

With that, we give you our full recap of the Carolina Panthers draft, with analysis on every selection the team made during the weekend and an in-depth look at their top pick.

For more information on the players your favorite team drafted, it’s not too late to get the 2023 NFL Draft Guide, which includes expanded scouting reports, draft grades, offseason reports, unique advanced data, PFF grades and much more.

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2023 NFL Draft Picks

R1 (1): QB Bryce Young, Alabama
R2 (39): WR Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss
R3 (80): EDGE DJ Johnson, Oregon
R4 (114): G Chandler Zavala, NC State
R5 (145): S Jammie Robinson, Florida State

Day 1: Carolina moved up to No. 1 overall and secured their potential franchise quarterback. Despite concerns about his size, Young was the top QB on the PFF big board, and his 92.9 passing grade led all players at the position over the past two seasons.

Day 2: Mingo was one of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process and finds himself in Carolina to team up with top pick Bryce Young. While his production in college was spotty, he has a good blend of size and athleticism to like his fit here with the Panthers. Not to mention, he flashed often on tape between unbelievable body adjustments and clean wins at the line of scrimmage.

This is one of the bigger reaches so far based on the PFF big board, with Johnson coming in at 237th overall. The Panthers are taking a swing on Johnson’s athleticism on the edge (4.49-second 40-yard dash at 261 pounds). He’s a 24-year-old prospect who recorded fewer than 50 career pressures on 786 defensive snaps in college.

Day 3: The Panthers have invested in improving their offensive line over the last several seasons and continue to do so with Zavala here. He played just over 1,000 snaps in the FBS but earned an 86.5 PFF pass-blocking grade last season and adds some explosiveness to the interior of their offensive line.

Carolina adds another defensive back for new defensive coordinator Eviro Ejero to deploy in a deep secondary unit. Robinson’s 16.0% forced incompletion rate illustrates his playmaking ability at the catch point when targeted. He plays fast, but that sometimes results in a missed tackle, with his 7.4% missed tackle rate on the high side.

DRAFT GRADE: B+

Prospect Spotlight: QB Bryce Young, Alabama

Young is flat-out the best playmaker at the quarterback position in the draft class. He can get you a bucket. He earned a 92.2 grade in 2021 when he won the Heisman, and he followed it up with a 91.5 in 2022.

Strengths, weaknesses and NFL role

Where he wins: Playmaking

Young has that creative mindset that we're seeing take over the NFL at quarterback. He's good in structure, but when Young breaks the pocket, he's capable of special plays.

What's his role? Creator

Young is the kind of talent that you turn the keys over to as an offensive coordinator. You can trust him to make the necessary adjustments to the called concepts for them to be successful. He just sees the game so well.

What he can improve: Size

While his height isn't changing, Young could stand to add some muscle to his frame simply for injury avoidance. He's never going to have Josh Allen‘s risk-aversion when it comes to contact, but taking some big hits is unavoidable at the position.

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