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It’s never too early to try and improve, especially if you’re Matt Rhule’s Carolina Panthers. Just ask our friends over at Draft Wire.
A mere 67 or so hours after the completion of the 2022 NFL draft, editor Luke Easterling recharged and revamped his board—this time, with next year’s projections. In a never-too-early look into the distant future, Easterling published his first-round mock of the 2023 draft, which is set to take place starting on April 27, 2023 at Union Station in Kansas City, Mo.
So, who does he have Carolina taking? Well, with the seventh overall pick (sheesh, not a great season ahead, huh?), the Panthers select . . . Noah Sewell, linebacker, University of Oregon.
“Ever since Luke Kuechly’s retirement, the Panthers have been missing a true impact player at the second level of their defense,” Easterling writes. “Sewell is big, athletic, and has all the potential to be worthy of a top-10 pick.
This would, at least looking in from 359 days out, be a wise choice for Rhule (if he’s still there) and company. The team came away filling a number of needs this past weekend, most notably with Ikem Ekwonu at left tackle and Matt Corral under center.
But, even with Penn State’s Brandon Smith bagged up from the fourth round, the defense is frighteningly thin in the middle. Sewell, the younger brother of Detroit Lions offensive lineman Penei, could potentially give the franchise that middle linebacker it’s always known for having.