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Carolina Panthers 2023 mock drafts: Who ESPN, CBS, PFF,, more have them selecting

The 2023 mock drafts are pouring in for the Carolina Panthers. Who are the consensus selections?

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NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

As the kickoff of the 2023 NFL Draft draws closer, the number of mock drafts has proliferated. Experts from across the field have begun to reveal their final (or near-final) projections for how one of the league’s marquee offseason events will unfold. The accuracy of those predictions remains unclear, however.

Several notable draftniks have posted their official mock drafts, including their expectations for the Carolina Panthers. Here, we break down what each expert says about the first- and second-round selections.

First-round consensus

Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Peter King: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Matt Miller: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Ryan Wilson: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

PFF: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Adam Caplan: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Chad Reuter: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

In recent weeks, Bryce Young has become the nearly unanimous projection for the Panthers. How one feels about the Alabama signal-caller invariably comes down to the degree of concern for his size. As the draft broadcast will repeat numerous times, Young measured in at 5-foot-10 and just over 200 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, far from the prototypical stature for a franchise QB. Still, he excels in most other areas and comes with an unimpeachable pedigree.

C.J. Stroud, the one non-Young projection listed here, deserves some discussion. He towers over Young and comes with a similarly impressive résumé. He also played the best game of his college career in his final outing, Ohio State’s near upset of the eventual national champions in the College Football Playoff.

Still, if Carolina head coach Frank Reich feels comfortable with Young’s diminutive stature, he probably makes the most sense here. Reich has done more with less under center, and Young comes out of the box with more polish than the other passers in this rookie class.

Second-round consensus

Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

Matt Miller: Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee

Ryan Wilson: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

Chad Reuter: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

The Panthers need to bolster the receiving corps around whichever quarterback they take at No. 1 overall. After dealing away star wideout D.J. Moore in the trade that took the franchise into the top draft slot, the offense features little in the way of pass-catching talent. Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman, the two Tennessee standouts, would have the opportunity for immediate contribution. Still, both come out of an offensive system that features atypical receiver splits and roles by NFL standards, requiring significant adjustments from both.

As for Will McDonald IV, he could provide a useful counterbalance to Brian Burns, the Panthers’ top pass rusher. He has spent most of the draft process pegged as a first-round talent, so landing him on Day 2 would represent something of a boon.