Mingo was great value for a team needing an athletic, physical receiver. Carolina sent a third-round pick to New England last year to pick quarterback Matt Corral, which has not paid off thus far. Johnson met a need for another long, strong edge rusher, but he's not yet a finished product.
Strengths: Powerful build, impressive athlete, YAC creator, physical blocker, good ball-tracking
Weaknesses: Never produced a top season, not as explosive or sudden out of his breaks
In a wide receiver class generally considered weak compared to recent years and full of undersized targets, Ole Miss' Jonathan Mingo is a unique option because of body type, skill set and overall athleticism.
Mingo only produced at a relatively high level for one season. Even last year, the senior finished second on the Rebels with 51 catches for 861 yards. But he's capable of playing all three receiver spots. The 6'2", 220-pound target may even thrive as a power slot in the NFL, with his ability to create after the catch and willingness to block.
When an elite relative athletic score is sprinkled into the mix, Mingo's potential is as great as any wide receiver's in this class.
"I feel like I just can't be stopped," Mingo told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Once I get the ball in my hands, I feel like nobody can bring me down. I feel like I have great run after the catch because I got a lot of tools in my bag."
The Carolina Panthers took the next logical step after acquiring their new franchise quarterback in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft–they started to add weapons around Bryce Young.
Aside from Adam Thielen, the Panthers' weapons at wide receiver are sparse since the team included D.J. Moore in the trade to move up and get Young.
Mingo has significant upside as someone who was asked to create with the ball in his hands and quickly contribute in multiple roles. He'll be needed. Good thing Young distributes the ball like a point guard on grass.
Strengths: Elite burst, sets edge, works over tight ends
Weaknesses: Linear athlete, inconsistent hand usage, inconsistent at reading keys
One number will pop up when looking at DJ Johnson's athletic profile: The 6'4", 260-pound edge defender ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
His burst allows him to get upfield and be disruptive, though he doesn't have ideal lateral movement.
For the Carolina Panthers, Johnson gives the team's defense another option opposite Brian Brians, alongside Yetur Gross-Matos and Marquis Haynes Jr.
Mingo is a very interesting pick for Carolina. He's a big, fast receiver who could be better after the catch in Carolina's RPO-based offense. Maybe his skill set is a bit redundant with Laviska Shenault, but Mingo will be an outside receiver.
The Panthers needed another complementary edge rusher but man, this feels like a reach. Johnson is a great athlete who is still learning how to play LB. but he has all the tools to make it work.
Grade: C -
The Panthers get a target for Bryce Young, adding to a thin wide receivers room following their trade of D.J. Moore to the Bears. Mingo is raw, but it's hard to find his blend of blocking, run-after-the-catch ability and overall physicality. He's a lottery ticket type pick for the Panthers.
Trading up for Johnson probably wasn't necessary here. He had a great 40-yard dash time, but not very much production at Oregon. Still, taking athletes on the defensive line is almost always a defensible idea.
Mingo shot up boards late because of some workout impressions, but in the end he's more of a Day 3 selection given his strength/toughness profiles as a big slot vs. the big-play outside threat the Panthers needed for Bryce Young. Mingo was picked based on Adam Thielen being a short-term option.
The Panthers were good to think about getting a power-based complement for Brian Burns. It's an average move because Johnson is more of a mid-Day 3 pick than a late Day 2 one.
View photos of Mississippi wide receiver Jonathan Mingo, drafted by Carolina in the second round of the 2023 Draft.
The Panthers dealt No. 1 receiver D.J. Moore to Chicago to land the No. 1 overall pick, and by selecting Mingo, they have a chance to replace him in time.
Everything about Mingo (6-1 ¾, 220) is smooth and well-defined. He caught 51 passes for 861 yards and five touchdowns last season at Ole Miss and was a second-team All-SEC pick. Mingo produced 10 catches of 30-plus yards, and he uses his size well in his routes with great body control. His 247-yard game against Vanderbilt broke Elijah Moore's single-game record at Ole Miss.
What's easy to see with Mingo is his physical size, large hands (10 3/8) and his 4.46 speed with a 1.52-second 10-yard split. He also put up 22 reps of 225 pounds, so there's strength to match his weight. He missed seven games in 2021 after a stress fracture but came back strong in 2022.
This could qualify as a reach for the Panthers, who traded up for Johnson. The No. 21-ranked edge rusher graded as a fifth-rounder by Brugler, Johnson (6-4, 260) was an elite performer at the combine. He ran a 4.49 40 and his wingspan measured 80 inches.
At Oregon, Johnson played outside linebacker and tight end until the 2022 season when had six sacks. He had 39 tackles last year as an honorable mention selection. He's athletic but unrefined. It's a reach at this point of the draft.
Mingo was one of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process and finds himself in Carolina to team up with top pick Bryce Young. While his production in college was spotty, he has a good blend of size and athleticism to like his fit here with the Panthers. Not to mention, he flashed often on tape between unbelievable body adjustments and clean wins at the line of scrimmage.
This is one of the bigger reaches so far based on the PFF big board, with Johnson coming in at 237th overall. The Panthers are taking a swing on Johnson's athleticism on the edge (4.49-second 40-yard dash at 261 pounds). He's a 24-year-old prospect who recorded fewer than 50 career pressures on 786 defensive snaps in college.
Jonathan Mingo (scouting report) is a receiver who can stretch the field and make plays underneath. He is big, long and has outstanding ball skills. Mingo has a high ceiling because of his athletic traits, toughness and work ethic.
A former tight end and Miami transfer who tested off the charts at the combine, DJ Johnson (scouting report) has size, mass and burst to close, but lacks great instincts and needs to refine his technique. He lacks experience, but the 25-year-old rookie has athletic traits.
View photos of Oregon outside linebacker DJ Johnson, drafted by Carolina in the third round of the 2023 draft.