One of the best gifts you can get for your rookie quarterback is a rookie receiver—one he can grow alongside and establish a unique connection with. And the Carolina Panthers made sure to get first overall pick Bryce Young his present with one of the more talented pass catchers in this year’s class—Ole Miss’ Jonathan Mingo.
2023 may be a bit of an odd year for Carolina, who don’t really have an undisputed No. 1 wideout on its depth chart. After trading away DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears, the Panthers find themselves searching for some order within their receiving group.
While free-agent additions Adam Thielen and DJ Chark are proven in their own right, neither of them are a true ‘X’ receiver. And even though Terrace Marshall Jr. can be that guy, he has yet to establish himself as such over two inconsistent campaigns.
Should Mingo come in early and show off the traits that made him an early draft pick, he could be the immediate starter on the outside for Young and the Panthers. If not, he will still likely get quite a few snaps in various packages, including when Carolina goes four-wide.
We’ll project Marshall Jr. building upon his 2022 flashes and getting the nods on the outside, leaving Mingo looking up for his rookie campaign. This is not indicative of the future, however, as he should ascend in the ranks quite soon.