Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Carolina Panthers Post-Draft 2023 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a post-draft roundup for the Carolina Panthers in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 22

Most improved: Quarterback

The Panthers finished near the bottom of the NFL in Total QBR the past two seasons using four different starters. Their numbers when pressured are particularly bad. While Bryce Young hasn't played an NFL down, he had a Total QBR of 30.1 the past two seasons when pressured -- that compares to what Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence did in college. He ranked first in passing yards, touchdowns and completions of 20-plus yards and his QBR was 89.9 when blitzed. Unless Young is a bust, he can't help but be a major upgrade. -- Rank: 25

The Panthers finally got their man. After several years in the QB wilderness that featured multiple highly publicized swings and misses, Carolina got the fresh start it wanted with Bryce Young. Concerns about the size and durability of the Alabama star are not to be dismissed, but there is plenty of reason to believe Carolina just imported a franchise-shifting player at the game's most important position with the No. 1 overall pick. Young won't be able to do it alone, of course. The Panthers hope they can fill the hole left by D.J. Moore (sent to Chicago in the trade that ultimately allowed them to land Young) with Ole Miss wideout Jonathan Mingo, selected with the eighth pick of the second round. If Young can make quick strides as a rookie, there's no reason why the Panthers can't contend in the wide-open NFC South.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 22

Bryce Young will be the quarterback, which should be an upgrade over recent years. If he's really good, they will win the division. That's a big if for a rookie.

USA Today -- Rank: 19

Fun fact — Carolina's single-season passing records for yards (4,436) and TDs (36) belong to ... Steve Beuerlein, not Cam Newton. Until No. 1 pick Bryce Young claims both, that is.

The Athletic -- Rank: 24

Draft takeaway: We'll see if the boldness pays off, but the Panthers got their man. The future lies on Bryce Young's itty-bitty shoulder.

Hype man: With Frank Reich and Josh McCown mentoring the best quarterback in the draft, we're not only set up for years to come, but to make a run in 2023, too.

Damiere Downer: The only downside to misevaluating Young as the top quarterback in the draft over C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson is a lifetime of embarrassment and a franchise-crippling outlay of assets. No biggie.

PFF -- Rank: 28

The Panthers used free agency to add solid players in tight end Hayden Hurst and running back Miles Sanders. They also improved upon a safety unit that ranked 30th last season in PFF grade by signing Vonn Bell.

The last time Carolina had a quarterback with a passing grade of at least 70.0 was in 2018 with Cam Newton and Kyle Allen. Bryce Young, who the Panthers drafted No. 1 overall, may be a game-changer after he earned a 91.3 passing grade at Alabama in 2022. And he has a fellow rookie weapon in Jonathan Mingo, who the team selected in Round 2.

Arguably the biggest reason for optimism about the Panthers finally righting the ship is the coaching staff they've assembled. Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero excelled in Denver in recent years, and senior offensive assistant Jim Caldwell and senior defensive assistant Dom Capers both have head coaching experience.

PFT -- Rank: 25

I don't expect it to take long for Bryce Young to get up to speed in the Carolina offense, but what no one knows is if Young will be sturdy enough to make it through an 18-week NFL campaign.

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