The thick of draft season is here and we're running. Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Corners and Tight Ends carry the weight in this year's class with (and it's not overstating to say) some potential Hall of Fame caliber prospects.
The Panthers have already fired their shot and kick of the draft intrigue right at the top with their newly acquired #1 pick. The best prospects as I see them right now in this class..
1. RB Bijan Robinson | Texas
Robinson's X gene is his ability to be elusive in tight spaces. The burst, contact balance and foot quickness he demonstrates allow him more yards than would seem possible at times.
2. QB Bryce Young | Alabama
The Gen Z Doug Flutie. He's a special arm talent in the pocket with the ability to improvise effectively, consistently. His play style is often just on the verge of disaster but he's held it together in Tuscaloosa. We'll see how it works in the NFL. (or Carolina ISS )
3. CB Devon Witherspoon | Illinois
"Throwback" almost always applies to a front seven guy but Witherspoon at DB prodigiously earns that descriptive. He's a tactile, technique sound, shit talking corner that makes plays on the ball and will knock your head off.
4. DE Myles Murphy | Clemson
Murphy's an athletic freak that can be as good as he wants to be. He flashes every trait you look for in an edge defender. His charge will be to consistently play mean as he puts it all together. He legitimately has some Myles Garrett in him.
5. DT Jalen Carter | Georgia
How good does Carter want to be? He's athletically gifted for his size and strength. He's dominated primarily by brute force but will need more precision on and off the field to become the Chris Jones caliber player he could be.
6. CB Kei'Trel Clark | Louisville
Clark might be the most underrated defensive prospect in this class. His game is nearly identical to #1 CB Devon Witherspoon's. He's a playmaker that can mirror in man and closes to the ball with a flourish, he's just not quite as physical as the Illini DB.
7. TE Dalton Kincaid | Utah
"Roadhouse", as I"m gonna officially dub him, is coming into the league at precisely the right time. At a time when the Chiefs Travis Kelce is arguably the toughest skill player to defend in the league, Kincaid, with an identical skill set, could have similar pro projections.
8. LB Nolan Smith | Georgia
Smith emphatically earned the workout warrior award after his combine performance but his film illustrates his foundational ability. He's got violent hands and is adept at holding the edge.
He diagnoses well and can chase across the field. What his testing suggests is that he's got a lot of untapped potential and versatility.
9. DE Will Anderson | Alabama
Aptly dubbed the "Terminator" by teammates, Anderson has a high motor, mature, workman approach on the edge that outshines his less than ideal size and athleticism. He punches above his weight and literally punches his way through blocks along with good closing speed to the ball.
10. DT Tomi Adebawore | Northwestern
Tomi is all arms and speed on film. He's violent off the snap and regularly resets the los but also shows remarkable mobility and range. His record setting athletic testing indicates there's a substantial ceiling to be had here.
11. RB Zach Charbonnet | UCLA
This is nearly how you draw up a RB prospect. Charbonnet checks every trait a team is looking for in a franchise RB. If there's a drawback, it's perhaps that he's not an enormously elusive guy.
12. OT Peter Skoronski | Northwestern
Quick, strong and technique sound, Skoronski jumps off film as a run blocker and generally holds his own in pass pro. A switch inside is possible as his frame suggest an OG but his anchor is not ideal there.
13. LB Drew Sanders | Arkansas
14. DT Mazi Smith | Michigan
15. DE Lukas Van Ness | Iowa
16. RB Jahmyr Gibbs | Alabama
17. QB C.J. Stroud | Ohio State
18. TE Luke Musgrave | Oregon St
19. OG Steve Avila | TCU
20. WR Quintin Johnston | TCU
21. S Antonio Johnson | Texas A&M
22. OG O'Cyrus Torrence | Florida
23. OG Broderick Jones | Georgia
24. OC John Michael Schmitz | Minnesota
25. DE Tyree Wilson | Texas Tech
26. LB Ventrell Miller | Florida
27. QB Will Levis | Kentucky
28. QB Anthony Richardson | Florida
29. LB Ivan Pace Jr | Cincinnati
30. WR Zay Flowers | Boston College
31. RB Israel Abanikanda | Pitt
32. OT Dawand Jones | Ohio State
33. TE Darnell Washington | Georgia
34. DE Tuli Tuipulotu | USC
35. OC Luke Wypler | Ohio St
36. OG Andrew Vorhees | USC
37. WR Josh Downs | North Carolina
38. RB Sean Tucker | Syracuse
39. S Brian Branch | Alabama
40. CB Emmanuel Forbes | Mississippi State
41. CB Christian Gonzalez | Oregon
42. RB Tyjae Spears | Tulane
43. CB Juju Brents | Kansas St
44. OG Cody Maoch | North Dakota St
45. OG Nick Broeker | Ole Miss
46. WR Jordan Addison | USC
47. DT Kalijah Cancy | Pitt
48. DE Isaiah McGuire | Missouri
49. DT Siaki Ika | Baylor
50. DT Zacch Pickens | South Carolina
51. S Sydney Brown | Illinois
52. TE Michael Mayer | Notre Dame
53. OG Caleb Chandler | Louisville
54. DT Karl Brooks | Bowling Green
55. S Jamie Robinson | Florida St
56. CB Joey Porter Jr | Penn State
57. CB Anthony Johnson | Virginia
58. WR Micheal Wilson | Stanford
59. CB Cam Smith | South Carolina
60. CB Jaylon Jones | Texas A&M
61. RB Devon Achane | Texas A&M
62. CB Deonte Banks | Maryland
63. OG Chandler Zavala | NC State
64. CB Riley Moss | Iowa
65. LB Derick Hall | Auburn
66. DE Keon White | Georgia Tech
67. OG Jon Gaines | UCLA
68. DE Isaiah Foskey | Notre Dame
69. LB Trenton Simpson | Clemson
70. OT Anton Harrison | Oklahoma
71. S Ronnie Hickman | Ohio St
72. S Jordan Battle | Alabama
73. WR Xavier Hutchinson | Iowa St
74. OC Jarrett Patterson | Notre Dame
75. CB Eli Ricks | Alabama
76. CB Tyrique Stevenson | Miami
77. RB Chase Brown | Illinois
78. CB Darius Rush | South Carolina
79. RB Deuce Vaughn | Kansas St
80. DT Scott Matlock | Boise St
81. LB Henry To'o To'o | Alabama
82. WR Tank Dell | Houston
83. DT Moro Ojomo | Texas
84. LB Will McDonald | Iowa St
85. WR Jalin Hyatt | Tennessee
86. DE Dylan Horton | TCU
87. OC Olusegun Oluwatimi | Michigan
88. WR A.T. Perry | Missouri
89. WR Parker Washington | Penn St
90. S Kelee Ringo | Georgia
91. LB Amari Burney | Florida
92. TE Daniel Barker | Michigan St
93. TE Brenton Strange | Penn St
94. LB Sirvocea Dennis | Pitt
95. LB Darius Mausau | UCLA
96. RB Mohamed Ibrahim | Minnesota
97. LB Lonnie Phelps | Kansas
98. DE Zach Harrison | Ohio St
99. WR Jayden Reed | Michigan St
100. WR Jonathan Mingo | Ole Miss