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Panthers select WR Jonathan Mingo out of Ole Miss in the second round of the draft


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers used their second-round selection to acquire a pass catcher, selecting Ole Miss wide receiver Jonathan Mingo with the 39th pick.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound receiver is a strong option out of the slot with the ability to gain yards after the catch. He put up 1,758 yards on 112 receptions with 12 touchdowns in his career, averaging 15.7 yards per catch in 34 games with the Rebels.

"It's a blessing to be drafted by the Panthers," Mingo said in his first press conference after his selection. "A lot of hard work – so I'm happy God put me in this situation."

Mingo said he modeled his game after the Eagles' A.J. Brown and the Seahawks' DK Metcalf, two fellow Ole Miss receivers. He also said he often watched his new teammates DJ Chark Jr. and Adam Thielen, two free-agent acquisitions to Carolina.

"I try to be the best version of myself," Mingo said. "I like to look at everybody's games, take what pieces I can, and see how they fit my game. ... I like watching all receivers; I'm just a receiving guru."

Mingo received second team All-SEC honors from coaches for his senior season in 2022, when he tallied a career-best 861 yards on 51 catches, totaling five receiving touchdowns with one rushing score.

Mingo said he made a connection with new wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson during his visits here. Jefferson's son, Van (also an NFL receiver who plays for the Rams), played at Ole Miss as well.

Mingo joins a wide receiver room that includes free agent acquisitions Thielen, Chark, and Damiere Byrd, as well as Terrace Marshall Jr. Laviska Shenault Jr., Shi Smith, Preston Williams, Derek Wright, and C.J. Saunders. He helps bolster the receiving corps after Carolina sent DJ Moore to Chicago as part of its trade for the No. 1 pick this year.

He'll be a new weapon for new Panthers quarterback Bryce Young, who Carolina took with the first overall pick on Thursday. Mingo, who played against Young's Alabama team throughout his college years.

Mingo said he was excited to be Young's teammate after losing to him three years in a row while with the Rebels.

"One thing about Bryce Young, he doesn't make mistakes," Mingo said. "He's very poised, doesn't get rattled. He takes each play, play by play, he takes his time. Smart kid. I met him at the combine. He was real, real cool; nice guy to be around. So I'm excited for the opportunity to play with him."

Now, he's excited to be a reliable target for his new quarterback.

"I can do everything for him," Mingo said. "For a quarterback ... you want to get him in the flow of the game, so just play a little pitch-and-catch. I can turn a little five-yard hitch into an eight-yard touchdown, to make things easier on the quarterback. ... Gotta make the quarterback look good."

View photos of Mississippi wide receiver Jonathan Mingo, drafted by Carolina in the second round of the 2023 Draft.

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