Remember when the Carolina Panthers opened the season 3-0? That was fun, right Panthers fans? 12 losses and a seven-game losing streak later, and the Panthers are locked into a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft once again. With the fan base clamoring for a change in coaching staff, could this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft flip the fortunes of the Panthers franchise?
Carolina Panthers 7-Round NFL Mock Draft
For the purposes of this Panthers 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft, we’ve allowed PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator with trades (equipped with the latest NFL Draft order) to work its magic on the selections. They’re based on the projected needs for the Panthers in the 2022 NFL Draft, where they’ve currently only got six picks. Let’s break down how this haul improves Carolina’s future fortunes.
Round 1, Pick 6: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
Given the furor over Matt Rhule’s comments on Rashawn Slater, I’m not convinced that the incumbent Carolina head coach would be a huge fan of this selection. Despite his versatility as an offensive lineman, Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green truly does belong inside at the next level. We all know how Rhule feels about using a first-round pick on a guard.
However, there’s no way that you’ve watched the Panthers this season and came away with any conclusion other than that their offensive line is in shambles. Of course, the quarterback situation hasn’t helped. But it would be malpractice to put a young passer behind that line at this moment in time.
Green’s selection for the Panthers kickstarts this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft with the offensive line rebuild Carolina so badly needs. The Texas A&M guard is a vicious mauler in the ground game, and he’ll pave the way for the returning Christian McCaffrey next season. As a pass protector, he could anchor a boat in a tsunami, so he’ll provide a safe haven for whoever takes the poisoned chalice as the Panthers’ passer.
Round 4, Pick 105: Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
As a result of the Sam Darnold and C.J. Henderson trades, the Panthers’ next selection in this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft doesn’t come until the fourth round. UTSA cornerback Tariq Woolen is an intriguing prospect with impressive size and speed. Having played the position for just two seasons, he’s a work in progress but comes with a high ceiling. His athletic profile could see him transition to safety at the next level, a positional need for a Panthers secondary that gave up a touchdown on 5% of passing plays in ’21.
Round 5, Pick 143: Tre Williams, EDGE, Arkansas
While EDGE doesn’t immediately present as a need for the Panthers, several players along the defensive front could hit free agency before the draft. If they do, that leaves the position group a little thin on the ground. Tre Williams had a career year in his only season with Arkansas, registering 6.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. A speedy, bendy, 6’5″, 255-pound pass rusher, he’d fit nicely opposite Brian Burns for the Panthers’ defense.
Round 5, Pick 148: Cole Turner, TE, Nevada
Passing touchdowns have been incredibly hard to come by for the Panthers this season. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars found the end zone fewer times through the air than Carolina’s 14 scores. The selection of Cole Turner in this Panthers 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft. Yes, they drafted Tommy Tremble last year. However, Turner is a genuine red-zone threat who is comfortably one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the class.
Other alternatives at No. 148: Quentin Lake, S, UCLA; Lucas Krull, TE, Pittsburgh; Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
Round 6, Pick 200: James Empey, C, BYU
Having selected Green with their first-round pick, the Panthers double down on the offensive line late in this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft. They already drank from the BYU well last year with Brady Christensen, and they return again to select his former teammate. James Empey is a technically impressive center — he’s equally adept as a run blocker and pass protector. The BYU center also showcases a high level of football intelligence, which hasn’t always been evident on the Panthers’ line this year.
Other alternatives at No. 200: Gerard Wheeler, C, Tulsa; Aqeel Glass, QB, Alabama A&M; Nick Cross, S, Maryland
Round 7, Pick 251: Jack Coan, QB, Notre Dame
Following his transfer from Wisconsin to Notre Dame, Jack Coan set career highs for passing yards, passing touchdowns, and yards per attempt this season. His performances earned him an invite to the East-West Shrine Game. He’s neither a dynamic athlete nor a particularly strong-armed quarterback. Coan does, however, represent a reliable short-area passer who can be relied upon to utilize McCaffrey’s receiving ability.
Other alternatives at No. 251: Dawson Deaton, C, Texas Tech; Luke Tenuta, OT, Virginia Tech; Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State