Monday, January 16, 2023

Carolina Panthers 2023 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, we will update our Carolina Panthers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Carolina Panthers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Panthers:

CBS Sports - Stackpole (1/13)

9. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

The Panthers need a franchise quarterback in the worst way, and they'll fall in love with Will Levis' traits. Despite a frustrating season due to a porous offensive line, lackluster skill players and him being banged up, Levis has the skill set to to become a really good NFL quarterback.

San Diego Union Tribune - Brown (1/12)

9. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

An attempt to trade for Deshaun Watson failed. Recycling Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield failed too so the Panthers will once again be in the market for a signal-caller, but the board doesn't fall their way here. Cornerback was such an issue, Carolina signed Josh Norman near the end of the season. The son of former All-Pro linebacker Joey Porter checks the size (6-2, 198) and physicality boxes. Plus, Junior's athleticism and talent pops when you watch him, but he'll need to refine his technique and develop more consistency to pay off his potential — his aggressive nature is a gift and a curse, but he'd pair nicely with Jaycee Horn.

NBC Sports Chicago - Morgan (1/12)

9. Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Wilson is the type of irritatingly effective edge rusher that opposing teams hate battling while also being the kind of versatile athlete emblematic of Carolina's defensive style of play. Wilson can either set the edge or maneuver beyond it, causing disruption and chaotic uncertainty in offensive backfields. Playing the opposite end from Carolina's best edge rusher, Brian Burns, Wilson could significantly contribute to formulating a formidable one-two pass rushing tandem for the Panthers.

Yahoo! Sports - McDonald (1/11)

9. Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

The Panthers could take a dice roll at quarterback here with Anthony Richardson. Instead they take the top cornerback off the board in Ringo. He and Jaycee Horn would give the Panthers a top cornerback duo to grow with over the next few years.

Walter Football (1/11)

9. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

The Panthers need a franchise quarterback. I'm sure they'll attempt to move up for Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, but if they can't, they could settle for the third or fourth option in this class.

Will Levis has a big arm and could be chosen in the top 10.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (1/11)

9. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

The Panthers need to look to the draft for their next quarterback. Richardson can sit for a little behind Sam Darnold before eventually taking over. He's a monstrous talent.

USA Today - MMS (1/10)

9. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

A trade into the top five might be necessary for owner David Tepper to land the franchise quarterback he's so sorely sought during his tenure. In this scenario, however, the Panthers still grab one of the draft's most intriguing passers. NFL teams don't overlook anyone who blends a 6-3, 232-pound frame with superlative arm strength and running ability, so Levis' rise is hardly surprising. But his underdevelopment when operating from the pocket leaves significant questions about how he can handle the next step. For the Panthers, however, that's still an offering that's too good to turn down.

Bleacher Report (1/9)

9. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Kentucky's Will Levis is the enigma of the 2023 class because the quarterback looked like a future top-10 selection a year ago but failed to capitalize on his momentum during his final season on campus.

Beggars can't be choosers in the case of the Carolina Panthers. The organization has been dead set on acquiring a franchise quarterback since David Tepper became its owner. Yet the Panthers failed to do so at every turn.

Carolina can rationalize this pick based on two factors. First, Levis fits the prototype as a 6'3", 232-pound quarterback prospect with a big arm and good movement skills. Secondly, his downturn in production could stem from losing his top two wide receivers, the Wildcats' best two blockers and their offensive play-caller from the previous season.

"Levis is a roll of the dice to get a player somewhere on the Ryan Tannehill to Matthew Stafford spectrum," Klassen said. "As a 23-year-old prospect with years of experience in a Kyle Shanahan-like system, Levis provides the advantage of walking into the league more prepared than his peers.

Levis' brightest moments comes when he's ripping play-action posts or firing backside dig routes, both of which showcase his arm strength. With that being said, the Kentucky product isn't a complete prospect. His accuracy is subpar for a first-round quarterback, which was true even in 2021. Also, he's not a particularly creative player who can excel off-schedule.

"Thankfully for the player and team, Carolina has a good enough offensive line to keep Levis propped up and tap into his strengths as a thrower."

The 33rd Team (1/9)

9. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Christian McCaffery finished the season as Carolina's fourth-leading receiver, and he only played in six games before being traded. The 6-foot-4 Johnston is the most physically talented WR in this class with the ability to turn any play into a big gain. His yards per catch during his three college seasons? 22.1, 19.2 and 18.1.

PFF - Renner (1/9)

9. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Beggars can't be choosers with three quarterbacks off the board already. The Panthers are certainly going to be the beneficiaries of a deep quarterback class. Richardson offers the kind of tools that can go No. 1 overall, but he will likely fall to this point because he lacks the polish and experience you see from most first-rounders. He earned an 80.1 overall grade in his first season as a starter.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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