Panthers take top QB in ESPN’s latest 2023 mock draft

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When it comes to drafting quarterbacks, head coach Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers may have a type . . . at least from the looks of the worldwide leader’s latest 2023 simulation.

On Tuesday, ESPN published a fresh and early mock, courtesy of NFL draft analyst and insider Matt Miller. And, with the seventh overall pick, Miller has the Panthers scooping up another relatively undersized, but quite talented quarterback—Alabama’s Bryce Young.

“The Panthers passed on taking a quarterback in Round 1 in April and instead drafted Matt Corral in the third round, but they should remain in the hunt for a long-term option at the position,” he writes. “Young, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, doesn’t have prototypical NFL size — he’s listed at 6-foot, 194 pounds — but he plays the position like a point guard with great field vision, touch and anticipation. Size will be the ultimate question for scouts, but Young enters the season in the conversation for QB1.”

Young’s Heisman Trophy-winning campaign finished with a line of 4,872 passing yards and 47 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. It also finished in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship, where his Crimson Tide fell short to the Georgia Bulldogs, 33-18.

If this were to be the case for Carolina in 2023, then they’d be spending yet another expensive draft asset on a passer. In addition to selecting Corral in the third round, the Panthers did also burn their second and fourth-rounders last spring in the trade for former New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.

But, that’s the nature of the business. If you don’t have an answer under center, you keep on swinging until you find one.

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