Panthers beat writer trades up for QB in The Athletic’s latest mock draft

Very few, if any, reporters are more in touch with the Carolina Panthers than Joe Person. So if he drops a hint, we best listen.

And this past week, Person may have dropped one in The Athletic’s 2023 Beat Writer Mock Draft.

The longtime Carolina scribe, who represented the Panthers in the exercise, was forced to make a jump up to the sixth overall pick after quarterbacks Bryce Young, CJ Stroud and Anthony Richardson were snatched off the board. So, that blitz up the order saw Person salvage the only first-round passing prospect left—Kentucky’s Will Levis.

“After the Raiders somewhat surprisingly traded up for Anthony Richardson, three of the top four quarterbacks were off the board,” Person writes. “The good news for the Panthers: The one who was left is the guy they like. Rather than risk having another team jump ahead of them for Will Levis, the Panthers moved up three spots by giving up just a third-round pick, which was part of the Christian McCaffrey trade. Stroud and Young put up bigger numbers, and Richardson might have a higher ceiling. But the 6-4, 230-pound Levis looks the part, has a big arm and has a Josh Allen-type vibe. The Panthers had a top-10 pick three years in a row that they used on someone other than a QB. It was time.”

That big arm helped Levis pass for 2,406 yards and 19 touchdowns during his final season as a Wildcat. He also rushed for 17 touchdowns over four years in college—giving off, at least to some, that “Josh Allen-type vibe” in the process.

While Levis may not be the preference amongst many Panthers fans, Person made the savvy move by trading up for and taking the only top quarterback remaining. It was, and may possibly be come April, a risk worth taking.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire