Expert Analysis


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Carolina Panthers NFL Draft Grades 2023: Bryce Young Earns High Mark

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers, QB
Apr 28, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Bryce Young holds up a jersey depicting his draft position at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is complete, and the Carolina Panthers made five selections.

The Panthers made the bold move of trading with the Chicago Bears to move up from No. 9 to No. 1 in this year’s draft. That resulted in the selection of Bryce Young as the first quarterback off the board but limited resources to use on Days 2 and 3. How did the Panthers’ class stack up?

Panthers 2023 NFL Draft Grades

1. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Everyone has been speculating about who the Panthers would select since they made the bold decision to trade up from the ninth spot in the draft to the first overall pick. In the end, they selected the player who was the presumed top quarterback entering the 2022 college football season in Bryce Young. There are major concerns about his slender build, but he has elite field vision, pre-snap command and off-script playmaking abilities.

Grade: B+

39. Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss

Jonathan Mingo is a receiver who can stretch the field and make plays underneath. He is big, long and has outstanding ball skills. Mingo has a high ceiling because of his athletic traits, toughness and work ethic. He should be a solid target for Young in Year 1, complementing the other pieces Carolina added in free agency.

Grade: A-

80. DJ Johnson, Edge, Oregon

DJ Johnson is a former tight end and Miami transfer who tested off the charts at the combine. He has size, mass and burst to close but lacks great instincts and needs to refine his technique. He lacks experience, but the 25-year-old rookie has athletic traits.

Grade: D

114. Chandler Zavala, OG, NC State

Carolina kept it in state with this pick. Chandler Zavala provides good size on the interior with play strength to keep the pocket insulated. Keeping Young upright has to be a top priority, and if Zavala finds his way onto the field, he can help Carolina do that.

Grade: B

145. Jammie Robinson, SAF, Florida State

The Panthers continued to have a solid draft with their last selection. Jammie Robinson didn’t overwhelm us with his NFL Combine performance, but he was one of our favorite watches on tape in this class, and he stood out at the Senior Bowl, too. He is a violent tackler and has man-coverage ability.

Grade: A-