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Panthers’ 2023 rookie class ranked amongst worst in NFL

Even with the No. 1 pick heading the pack, the Carolina Panthers’ rookie class fell far behind.

NFL.com analysts Eric Edholm and Chad Reuter recently ran back to the 2023 draft board and ranked last spring’s hauls. Down all the way at No. 28 are the Panthers, who received a ‘D+’ grade.

Edholm writes of first overall pick Bryce Young:

The prime disappointment was Young’s rookie season. The No. 1 overall pick started 16 games, and it was tough sledding for most of it. The environment seemed extremely unfavorable for learning on the fly, with the Panthers lacking elite weapons and cohesion on the offensive line. Carolina also fired head coach Frank Reich midseason, and it’s fair to wonder if turmoil on the coaching staff stunted Young’s growth. Tight end Hayden Hurst said after the season he thought Young had “too many voices in his head” during the trying season.

Young finished the campaign averaging 179.8 passing yards per contest with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. So, no, that’s not a lot of bang for Carolina’s big-time buck.

The Panthers didn’t get much of a return on the rest of the kids they drafted either. Wide receiver Jonathan Mingo amassed just 418 yards and no touchdowns, outside linebacker DJ Johnson had as many quarterback hits as your grandmother did, guard Chandler Zavala finished with the worst Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade (7.1) amongst all linemen with at least seven appearances and safety Jammie Robinson played in just 64 defensive snaps.

To add insult to insult, the Houston Texans—who picked behind the Panthers to start the festivities—ranked atop the list.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire