NFL Draft grades: Carolina Panthers' class hinges entirely on Bryce Young
Overall Carolina Panthers grade: B
The Panthers’ success in this draft hinges on the hopes of Bryce Young developing into a quarterback that can carry the load for them. He’s on the smaller side, but quelled a lot of concerns about his size with his play on the field. If Young can live up to his billing as the No. 1 overall overall pick, the importance of the rest of the Panthers’ draft selections diminishes somewhat. D.J. Johnson is a wild card, but they did draft a more realistic developmental option along the offensive line with NC State guard Chandler Zavala in the fourth round. Young, Mingo and Zavala are going to play an important role in the revitalization of the Panther’s offense under head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Thomas Brown.
Favorite pick: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss (39th overall)
The Panthers needed to get back on track as far as their receiver group goes and Jonathan Mingo should be a valuable piece to that. Mingo does all the dirty work that most at his position don’t like doing and he’s actually a talented receiver to go on top of it. He should get on the field pretty quickly with his blocking and ability to run after the catch. The Panthers’ wide receiver room doesn’t necessarily have an alpha, but they are sneakily well-rounded for the amount of actual draft and free agency capital invested in them.
Least favorite pick: D.J. Johnson, EDGE, Oregon (80th overall)
D.J. Johnson has the traits to develop into something off the edge, but he’s not a finished product and has a strange athletic profile. He crushed the 40-yard-dash with a time of 4.49 seconds, but he tested poorly in the agility and explosion tests. This could be a diamond-in-the-rough type of selection for the Panthers, but his profile suggests that this is a bit of a reach.
Full Panthers draft
Alabama QB Bryce Young (R1, 1st overall)
Mississippi WR Jonathan Mingo (R2, 39th)
Oregon edge DJ Johnson (R3, 80th)
N.C. State OG Chandler Zavala (R4, 114th)
Florida State DB Jammie Robinson (R5, 145th)