Panthers Organization-Brain Trust ups its game during drive to #1, Steve Smith approves of Ole Miss’ Mingo

What’s in the cards for #Carolina Panthers and 2023 draft group, led by #1 pick Bryce Young? Predictions may be all over, but Panthers were a helmet penalty extra point and a lousy 24 point quarter by Brady and the Bucs from playoffs last year, off a 1-6 start.

Nobody is dissing the #Carolina Panthers front office over their draft process, even if ‘Panthers organization and brains’ sometimes slipped into air quotes in recent past, especially with QBs. GM #Scott Fitterer’s reputation for ‘in on every deal’ is respected, which started long before pulling off the draft picks and DJ Moore price tag for #1 pick, #Bryce Young.

Maybe its the 4th time Fitterer’s brought best available leader into quarterback mix, but all the exploring and validating was about #best practices, not just a jumbled Rhule this time around.

5/2/23 #gshorkonsharonroadseam

Panther icon #Steve Smith seems solid on their #2 pick as “a receiver who runs like a running back, around or through you” after the catch. Lots of experts said it was easier to get a top flight receiver than a franchise quarterback. Is immediately replacing Moore’s 1,000 yards production – and maybe scoring more touchdowns – a legitimate gauging of talent? If Steve believes the guy is legit, Mingo’s welcome when OTAs begin at Wofford.

The Panthers draft was rated everywhere from A, A- to C+, depending on how heavily you weighed picking the obvious Young as a future star, a #2 (Mingo) earlier than many thought necessary, and a LB/freak athlete from Oregon because Ejiro Evior wanted him, has been a Fitterer specialty.,coordinator%20for%20the%20Denver%20Broncos It seems like needs were met, #collaboration and ORGANIZATION sure strikes a different tone in Charlotte.

Word from San Francisco, which thinks Darnold is the most talented thrower they’ve ever had – good luck with that. Talent wasn’t really the question…

They’ve signed 13 undrafted free agents, and still have $22.6MM of cap space for when negotiations with #Brian Burns extension starts. He’ll want to continue leading this defense, #2 on yardage/23rd in getting scored on, but getting paid still counts.

Nobody in the organization has mentioned trading Matt Corral, last years second #3 pick, after a broken ankle in pre-season. He’s a freebie pickup of talent, and with Reich and an excellent coaching staff, could become a significant asset. Andy Dalton is current #2.

–G.Shorkey, 5/1/23

Alabama QBs, The Ghosts of Weinke, Newton

Starting with Newton as an ultimate extension of physical superiority in speed-strength in the RPO (run-pass-option offense) while winning 2010 national championship and Heisman at Auburn, Bryce Young is now the third Heisman QB in Panther history – Chris Weinke of Florida State, being the first with that designation.

Weinke, was Panthers #1 in 2000, and he was 28 years old at FSU because he’d played baseball in Toronto’s minor league system. He wound up activating a lot of performance (yardage, TDs, starts) standards on a 1-15 team, where he eventually became a $5MM backup – when that wasn’t the norm. They handed the keys to Rodney Peete, and Weinke was out in 2006.

Cam Newton still casts a shadow around Charlotte as a franchise star, his contributions noteworthy, but Young won’t be getting coaching from Newton even if both like the idea. We’ll see if Eagles star Jalen Hurts is an outlier of strength-quality production among ex-Tide QBs with his historic (for like two hours) financial extension off last years Super Bowl run.

Mac Jones with the Patriots didn’t over-impress in Year 2, and the potential for Tua T. in Miami is somewhere between getting clonged badly several times in 2022, and getting to the playoffs again in a division that now includes Aaron Rodgers twice a year.

Oh yeah, Mayfield was a Heisman guy in Charlotte last year. 1-5 record, some mop up duty in another. 6 TD, 6 INT. Oy!

Despite all the smoke, how #Panthers were considering trading DOWN from #1, maybe CJ Stroud, thinking everyone (except, really, Levis) might be their target, when all four decision makers were 100% in their praise – and Young canceled any remaining Top 30 visits – the announcement by the Commissioner was a 3 weeks unofficial Done Deal for me.

Pre-draft, he was -1250 or so on DraftKings. Just sayin’.

Then there’s an Outstanding Offensive Line

A definitive asset that awaits Bryce Young is a very together and DEEP #Offensive line. The Panthers became a highly productive run team with minimal expectations of production from Mayfield et al.

Panthers didn’t ‘just’ need a Good quarterback, more an Alpha, franchise-level leader. Can Panther fans expect the level of coaching in 2023 will make THAT much of a difference? The OC-DC and assistants assembled are well-documented, top of their game types, and Yes, that’s the Mission Statement clarity the top brass has operated under.

In #’Good to Great,’ a business management must-read, Jim C. Collins felt getting the right people on the bus AND in the right places was a primary difference maker. NOBODY doubts that steadiness of O-line and two-headed running attack will benefit Young. The Panthers organization is 100% agreed on directionality, every supporting factor (ie. Coaching staff) is planned around, and Bryce Young is considered a very wise head.

In Charlotte, adding G Chandler Zavala (NCState), a linemate of #Ikem Ekwonu at State, local hero (Providence Day) and the Panther’s much appreciated rookie OLT last season, adds some explosive power – his rep is a mauler on runs. Young won’t lack for opportunities to show off a little magic in the new, shinier version of the #Carolina Panthers.

Whats next? May 23-25, May 31-June 2, June 5-8: OTA (Organized Team Activities) Offseason Workouts.

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