Pigskin’s 2023 NFL Draft Team Grades PANTHERS

May 16, 2023

The one is a bit dicey to figure, because they went out to get the top Pick in the Draft and got it at a fairly steep price when you realize how good of a wideout D.J. MOORE had been for them, and how many Picks over this and next year’s Draft they gave up for this Pick. We are also looking at a team with a new Head Coach in FRANK REICH. REICH and his staff working with BRYCE YOUNG as he enters the NFL world is probably as positive a situation as you can hope for.

So let’s break down what they were able to add to their roster with a slightly depleted Draft group of only 5 players.


Round 1, Pick 1    BRYCE YOUNG    QB     Alabama    5’10/190   PP Rank 1   I have already seen film of YOUNG in a Panthers uniform working out behind his pro OL, and it looks like a Junior HS kid snuck into practice. We must get used to his ‘smallness’, as I shall call it. But then I remind myself of his play while leading Alabama in SEC action. I also listen to all the NFL Personnel Gurus who rave about his world class Beautiful Mind. This should be fun too watch, and I expect good things from the newest NFL Franchise QB.

Round 2, Pick 39     JONATHAN MINGO    WR     Ole Miss   6’2/220  PP Rank 82    In a year of smallish wideouts at least the Panthers came up with a rising prospect of classic NFL size in MINGO. He is a bit raw, but the talent is undeniable. Not a speedster at 220 lbs. but his 4.46/40 time is adequate for his size. Big hands (10 3/8″) and the ability to move like a RB after the catch bode well for a guy they need to develop and play right away.

Round 3, Pick 80     D.J. JOHNSON   ER/OB     Oregon   6’4/260    PP Rank 166    Don’t pay whole lot of attention to comparing my pre-Draft rank and where they took him. I slotted him down because I was unclear where he plays positionally. As a talented athlete, he is Top 100. I think he plays at times as a DE with his hand down, but I also see him standing up and moving around the formation ala Micah Parsons. Patience, and good coaching will be essential in tapping his total talent and turning him loose out on the field.  Let’s revisit him come December or so.

Round 4, Pick 114    CHANDLER  ZUVALA    OG     N.C. State   6’4/320      PP Rank  99    Yep I was in that group of Draftniks like him more than where he was taken, the more we watched tape and workouts of him. How in the hell he wasn’t at the  COMBINE was a big, bad joke. He’s a mauler with lots of football experience and savvy for IOL play. OL is one of the strong points on this PANTHERS roster. Yet this Rookie may battle for a starting job in Camp. He will start sometime soon.

Round 5, Pick 145   JAMMIE ROBINSON    S   Florida State     PP Rank 153      Another less than superior athlete, but a heck of a tough football player. He has sub-30″ arm length, but beyond that he is a solid all-around athlete. First Team All-ACC last season on a resurgent FSU team. Other than to fill in for injured starters he may never be a starting S, but could easily become S3 in sub-packages. He’s also hitter which should work well in finding him work on Special Teams.


That’s it, except for a few URFA who will get the chance to make their initial 53-Man roster in September. Let me throw these names out for you to watch on that front; REZJOHN WRIGHT/CB, JALEN REDMOND/DT, CAM PEOPLES/RB, EKU LEOTA/ER/OB.

In a QB driven league, getting a Franchise QB is Job One for any GM. So give SCOTT FITTERER a tip of the cap for getting the Pick to grab YOUNG.


Grade:    C+       Moving up to that No. 1 Pick was costly, for a team that had already dispatched their No. 1 weapon, Christian McCaffrey, to the 49’ers last mid-season.