NFL Draft: Panthers give Young a weapon with big WR Jonathan Mingo

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Saturday, April 29, 2023
Bryce Young 'couldn't ask for a better situation' with Panthers
Panthers fans got to meet new QB Bryce Young on Friday in Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Carolina Panthers gave new quarterback Bryce Young some help on Friday night, selecting Mississippi wide receiver Jonathan Mingo with the 39th overall pick in the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Mingo caught 112 passes for 1,758 yards and 12 touchdowns in four seasons for the Rebels. While Mingo is a big receiver, he also has solid speed, having been clocked at 4.46 seconds in the 40.

Mingo said he's looking forward to being teammates with Young after losing to Alabama the last three seasons in the Southeastern Conference, twice when Young was the starter.

Complete look at Rounds 2 and 3 of the draft

Mingo thinks he can be a huge asset for the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, whom he called a "game changer."

"I can do everything for him," Mingo said. "For a rookie quarterback, you want to get them into the flow of the game. I can turn a 5-yard hitch into an 80-yard gain."

Mingo's best season came last year when he caught 51 passes for 861 yards and five touchdowns. He has big-play potential, recording a school-record 247 yards receiving last season against Vanderbilt.

"A year ago I was having surgery," Mingo said. "It is a blessing to see how things can change in the course of the year."

Ole Miss wide receiver was chosen in the second round by the Carolina Panthers on Friday.
Darron Cummings

The Panthers are looking to upgrade a passing game that was 29th in the league last season and lost top wide receiver D.J. Moore in a trade with the Chicago Bears that allowed them to move up to the top spot in the NFL draft.

The decision to take Mingo comes one day after the Panthers selected Young with the No. 1 overall pick.

Oregon linebacker DJ Johnson at the school's NFL Pro Day in March. The Carolina Panthers took Johnson in the third round of the NFL Draft.
Amanda Loman

The Panthers moved to the defensive side of the ball in the third round when they traded up 13 spots to No. 80 to get outside linebacker DJ Johnson from Oregon, who is viewed as a pass rusher who should fit well as they transition to a 3-4 defensive scheme.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Johnson had 39 tackles and six sacks last season for the Ducks. He played tight end for the Ducks in 2021.

SEE ALSO | Recap of every first-round pick

The Panthers gave up one of their fourth-round picks to the Pittsburgh Steelers to move up to get Johnson. Carolina has two picks remaining in the draft - one in the fourth round and another in the fifth.

The team welcomed Young and his family to Charlotte on Friday with a pep rally outside of Bank of America Stadium's front gate. Young walked through a line shaking hands with fans as hip-hop music blared, and he banged the team's "Keep Pounding" drum at the end of the procession, signaling the start of a new era in Carolina.

Young called it "surreal."

"This is an opportunity that I don't take lightly and I don't take for granted," Young said. "It's a huge blessing. I'm super excited to get to work and I'm grateful for my parents and everyone who made this possible for me. I couldn't be more ecstatic to be a Carolina Panther."

Discussions about Young's size dominated the pre-draft talk about the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner. At 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds, Young is only the third quarterback shorter than 6 feet tall to be selected in the first round since the NFL-AFL merger was completed in 1970, joining Kyler Murray and Johnny Manziel.

But his father Craig Young said Friday he's always felt that is a "lazy" narrative.

"I always felt like we should be more focused on his production," Craig Young said of his son, who threw for 80 touchdowns and 12 interceptions during his college career at Alabama. "I think that is why as a family we wanted to be with an organization that people believed in him for who he was."

WATCH: Young's full introductory news conference

WATCH: Bryce Young's introductory news conference with the Panthers in Charlotte.

The Associated Press contributed.