The Carolina Panthers 2022 draft class is perhaps the best group in the NFL this year.
The overall selection of players the NFC South team drafted place among the best class in terms of talent and return on investment this year.
Heading into the draft, the Panthers needed offensive line help desperately, and it drafted the best OT on the board with Ikem Ekwonu. This was an absolute gift for Carolina as most mock drafts had the NC State player off the board, but through a stroke of luck the Panthers drafted him.
Another position Carolina struggled with was quarterback. The inconsistency from Sam Darnold and Cam Newton alike put the team in dire straits for a field general. Throughout the offseason names like DeShaun Watson, Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo all appeared as trade targets for the Panthers. None of those players were traded, at least not yet. In the third round, Carolina nabbed Matt Corral as it traded for the 94th pick. Again, another need that may be filled through the draft because Corral gives the Panthers other options at quarterback whether being a second-string or an alternate with Sam Darnold, as fans saw last year.
The Panthers also drafted LB Brandon Smith from Penn State, Amare Barno who is a linebacker from Virginia Tech, guard Cade Mays from Tennessee, and CB Kalon Barnes from Baylor.
Overall, the return-on-investment Carolina received from the draft picks ranked first with 137.20%, so without any playing time experts project these picks panning out for the Panthers. Another interesting point
was Matt Corral at 94 ranked as one of the best steals in the draft.
While it is always a mystery on how the picks make an impact, and how quickly too, this must give fans hope that the Panthers head in a better direction. It will be a slow, gradual turn, but the players picked in the draft give the team a lot of room to work and develop its’ young core.