2023 Panthers Mock Draft 3.0

Round 1- C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

For the first time this offseason, I can predict us drafting Stroud and actually feel good about the chances of that happening. While the price of our trade for the #1 pick will be debated for years, what isn't for debate is that Stroud is the clear-cut QB1 of this class, so we should have no hesitation in making him our new face of the franchise next month.

Round 2 (Trade Down)- Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

Fitterer typically loves to trade down, to the point where we're supposedly still considering trading down from the #1 pick (I'm not buying it), and after losing so many quality picks in the #1 pick trade-up, I could see him trading down here. Depending how far we trade down in the 2nd, we should be able to get an additional 3rd round pick in return.

Considering that our offense already needed a better receiving TE and another vertical threat at WR, paired with the fact that we just lost our WR1 in Moore, and I think it's fair to say that this pick will be a receiving weapon. Whether we address TE or WR here will probably depend on who we get in Free Agency, so unless we get a guy like Schultz or Geisicki, I feel like we'll end up getting the next best TE here. Personally I would prefer one of the receiving TEs like Kincaid or Musgrave, but a lot of you seem to love Washington, so I'll change it up a bit here by having us draft him instead.

Round 3- Byron Young, Edge, Tennessee

Even though our offense is definitely the side of the ball that needs more work, our defense isn't without its flaws either. One of those flaws is that we lack any quality pass-rushers to complement Burns, so it would make sense for us to get the next best edge-rusher here.

Round 3 (From Trade Down)- Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss

While I am fully expecting us to aggressively target some new WRs in Free Agency, it is highly unlikely that any of them will be able to truly replace Moore as our WR1. With that in mind, getting the next best WR here would be a huge help for Stroud.

Round 4- Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State

Yes, I get that RBs are one of the easiest positions to replace in the NFL, and Foreman has been really good for us, but we need a receiving back to complement him. Also, there's no guarantee we'll be able to re-sign Foreman, and even if we do, it never hurts to get another receiving weapon for your rookie QB.

Round 4 (Trade Down)- Rashad Torrence, S, Florida

Considering we don't have any picks after the 5th round this year, I could see Fitterer trade down to change that, and from this we could probably get a 6th round pick.

While Fitterer has said he believes that we have some of the best young CBs in the league, in reality our only worthwhile DB is Horn. I'll admit that Woods is solid, but considering that Chinn should be transitioned back to his hybrid LB role, we could us another starting safety.

Round 5- Jaden Crumedy, NT, Texas

Our D-line has plenty of solid starters, but we could use some more depth for rotational purposes. It also doesn't hurt that our defense is transitioning to a 3-4, so we could use a more natural NT to pair with Brown.

Round 6 (From Trade Down)- Javon Foster, OT, Missouri

Our O-line has definitely improved this year, but it never hurts to have some depth, especially when we traded our versatile back-up in Daley, and our only other versatile O-linemen (Ekwonu, Christensen) are starters, so getting the next best OT here would make sense for us.

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