Carolina Panthers 2023 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup

The Matt Rhule experiment is over and anyone with eyes who watched the Carolina Panthers last year is grateful. With Frank Reich taking over, the Panthers had a very clear plan this offseason: get a franchise quarterback and build this football team around him. They committed to this by trading up to the number one pick in the 2023 NFL draft to ensure they were able to get their favorite quarterback prospect this year. So the question remains: how will the changes in coaching and this draft impact your fantasy football roster in 2023?

Rd. Pick Player Pos. College
1 1 Bryce Young QB Alabama
2 8 Jonathan Mingo WR Mississippi
3 17 DJ Johnson EDGE Oregon
4 12 Chandler Zavala G N.C. State
5 10 Jammie Robinson SAF Florida State


Round 1, Pick 1 Overall: Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama (5’10” 204 lbs)
Depth Chart:
QB1:       Bryce Young
QB2:       Andy Dalton
QB3:       Matt Corral



Bryce Young is one of the stranger NFL quarterback prospects I have ever watched. Every time I see him scramble, I believe I’m about to watch a semi-grown man die on the field. Young is maybe the smallest quarterback prospect ever in the modern NFL. It is a testament to his quarterbacking skills that he was drafted first overall ahead of quarterbacks with more traditional body types. The man can move, but if Young tries some of the scrambles he did in college, he will be obliterated.

Bryce Young has an average NFL arm. Sometimes it looks a bit slow coming out of his hands, but a lot of the time Young can put some real zip on it. Young has excellent ball placement and good mechanics, which he absolutely needs to continue being successful. I’ve seen a lot of comps to Drew Brees with his passing game, which I just assumed was due to Young’s limited stature (he is short). But his short and intermediate passing games are very reminiscent of Brees. Sometimes passes sail on him and he’ll miss some easy throws, but who hasn’t in college? Young’s deep ball accuracy leaves something to be desired. When he’s on, he’s on. When he’s not, he is usually overthrowing his man by 10 yards.

What I really loved about Bryce Young’s game was his ball placement. The man knows how to lead a receiver like few college quarterbacks ever have. Young put his guys in a position to be very successful after the catch, which will give him a very long NFL career if he continues to do so. Young’s misses were always in a way that defenders couldn’t get to it. He threw it to spots where he knew his receiver would be. Even in his bad games, Young looked good.

The most noteworthy part of his game is I don’t think I ever saw him make an actual bad read. Young might have missed on passes, but he was always throwing to a guy who had a chance to make a play. While NFL teams like to believe they can coach that, history has shown that the guys most likely to succeed at the NFL level are the players that read defenses well in college. And Bryce Young reads defenses as well as any quarterback in college football history.


Bryce Young was the number one overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. The Carolina Panthers traded away 2 first-round picks, 2 second-round picks, and D.J. Moore just for the opportunity to draft Young uncontested. Is there a chance that Andy Dalton starts the season for the Carolina Panthers? Sure, NFL teams have a history of being stupid. With a rookie quarterback and a team clearly rebuilding, the Panthers have no reason not to start Bryce Young as soon as possible to give him much-needed game-time experience. It is also worth noting that Bryce Young’s greatest strength as a prospect is that big ol’ brain of his. If Bryce isn’t able to handle an NFL playbook right away, the Panthers have much bigger problems.


While Bryce Young is almost assuredly going to start the majority of the Carolina Panthers games, that does not mean he will be fantasy relevant. Over the last ten years, only two rookies have finished as a top-ten fantasy quarterback

  • Justin Herbert – 2020 – QB9
  • Kyler Murray – 2019 – QB7

Considering the current state of the Carolina Panthers roster, expecting Bryce Young to finish the 2023 season as a fantasy football stud might be too optimistic. My plans for this season are to monitor him for his first few games of the season. If he gets hot, I’ll snag him up, but I won’t invest major draft capital on Bryce Young in 2023.




Round 2, Pick 39 Overall: Jonathan Mingo, Wide Receiver, Mississippi (6’2” 208 lbs)
Depth Chart:
WR1:       DJ Chark
WR2:       Adam Thielen
WR3:       Terrace Marshall
WR4:       Jonathan Mingo



When I put on the tape for Jonathan Mingo, the very first note I made was “That’s a big boy.” I’ve seen a lot of comps to A.J. Brown, and my initial thought was that it was just lazy scouting because they went to the same school. Then I watched Jonathan Mingo play. Between Mingo, A.J. Brown, and D.K. Metcalf, it is clear that Ole Miss has a type: receivers who play big, fast, and strong.

When I watched Quentin Johnson play, I found that he did not live up to the hype in his scouting profiles. Jonathan Mingo was what people were trying to tell me Quentin Johnson was. Mingo moves incredibly well for his size. He has a great first step and while he doesn’t look like he is moving very fast, he will all of a sudden be behind defenders just clowning defenses.

While it takes Mingo a while to get to his top speed, his first step off the line of scrimmage has some real pop. I thought he was just an average route runner and relied on his incredible athleticism to beat defenders. Mingo also has very good hands. Whereas Quentin Johnson would constantly let balls come to him, Jonathan Mingo was always high-pointing the ball and catching with his hands.

The thing that stood out the most to me was Mingo’s blocking. He is looking to engage and punish the man in front of him. Mingo plays very strongly. He will not go down after first contact and will break tackles. I think the reason why Mingo fell to the second was because Mississippi’s quarterback was not very good and the team was scared to throw the ball, so there wasn’t as much tape of him as some other high-profile guys. Overall, Jonathan Mingo was my favorite X receiver in this class.


The Carolina Panthers have made a lot of moves this offseason, but activity does not equal accomplishment. The Panthers added DJ Chark and Adam Thielen this season, but I’m not sure this is a net benefit for their offense. DJ Chark, on paper, is a very talented receiver. In the NFL however, Chark has only cracked 1000 yards once in five seasons and over 50 catches twice. However, Chark is still relatively young and has the talent to put things together. I just worry that his skillset doesn’t match up well with what Bryce Young does best.

Adam Thielen is a veteran receiver who is clearly on the decline. In our NFL draft winners and losers article, I pointed out that over the last three seasons, Thielen’s target share on the Vikings’ offense has gone from 20.9% to 18.5% to 17% over the past three seasons. Thielen has been a quality receiver in the past and probably adds some intangible value to the Panthers’ locker room, but it is highly unlikely that he will return to form at 33 years old this season.

Third-year Panther Terrace Marshall is maybe the most intriguing receiver on the Panthers not named Jonathan Mingo, but even he has not shown enough in two NFL seasons to make me feel he is due for a breakout year. In 2022, Marshall only had 47 targets, 28 catches, and 490 yards. As pedestrian as those numbers were, it was still the second-highest target and yard total on the team. To be completely fair to Marshall, I’m not sure anyone could have succeeded with Matt Rhule and Ben McAdoo at the helm.


Since I’ve already compared Jonathan Mingo to A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf, I think it is worth looking at how both of those receivers performed as rookies. In D.K. Metcalf’s rookie season, he had 100 targets, 58 catches, 900 yards, and 7 touchdowns, making him the WR32 on the year. Brown had 84 targets, 52 catches, 1051 yards, and 8 touchdowns his rookie year, making him the WR15 in half PPR leagues. When you consider the talent and opportunity costs, Jonathan Mingo is going to see his ADP skyrocket throughout the offseason and I will make sure I have as many late-round shares as I can grab of him.

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