Panthers Playmaker Sends Stern Warning To NFL For 2024

Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Carolina Panthers lacked weapons, which made life very difficult for then-rookie quarterback Bryce Young.

Young’s only reliable target in the aerial attack was veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen, who hauled in 103 receptions for 1,014 yards and four touchdowns.

The next-most productive pass-catcher? Jonathan Mingo, who snared 43 balls for 418 yards in his own rookie campaign.

The Panthers have addressed their receiving corps this offseason, swinging a trade for Diontae Johnson and selecting Xavier Legette in the first round of the NFL Draft.

However, Mingo is letting everyone know that he is still in tow and that he is ramping up for a big year in 2024.

“Like I said, I don’t care what nobody says,” Mingo told Joe Person of The Athletic. “I’ve been betting on myself my whole life. I’ve been through it all. At the end of the day, it’s me versus me. So I’m going to look myself in the mirror and figure out what I’ve got to do. I know what I bring to the table, and I know people haven’t seen the best of me yet.”

Jonathan Mingo could be a breakout candidate next season

Carolina selected Mingo in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft for a reason.

The University of Mississippi product didn’t post huge numbers in college, with his best season coming during his senior campaign when he caught 51 passes for 861 yards and five touchdowns.

However, his physical attributes and raw talent are clearly there.

Mingo stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 220 pounds, so he has terrific size for a receiver. Plus, he ran a solid 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine.

The issues with Mingo early on are that his hands are just okay and that he is not exactly the greatest route-runner. He caught just 50.6 percent of balls thrown his way last season.

But Mingo flashed better-than-average hands in college, so there is certainly hope that he can improve heading into his sophomore campaign.

“This offseason’s been going pretty good for me,” Mingo said. “Just been trying to go out there and prove the game slows down. Everything’s been going smoothly. Everything’s more relaxed. I feel good. I feel like we’re in a good spot going into the season.”

Mingo definitely has more competition this time around, and if he isn’t careful, he could end up sliding even further down the Panthers’ depth chart.

We’ll see if Mingo proves his doubters wrong come September.

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