The Panthers are currently armed with the sixth-overall pick in tomorrow’s draft. However, the team’s second selection isn’t until No. 137. So, naturally, the Panthers have been mentioned as a candidate to move back, and GM Scott Fitterer acknowledged yesterday that he’s received plenty of inquiries on the selection.
“There’s always a lot of communication,” Fitterer told reports (h/t to Schuyler Callihan of SI.com). “We may talk to 15-20 teams prior to the draft. That doesn’t mean everybody is going to move up. I think there’s a handful of teams maybe three to four that are really serious about it. We’re just keeping all of our options open, it’s definitely something that we’re going to look into. But if there’s a good player there at six, we’re just going to stay there and pick the player. We have several players on our board that help us get to six, so if there’s a good player we’ll stay there and pick. Without having a second or third round pick we’re going to keep all options open.”
How far could the Panthers move back?
“I think the comfort level would be really in the teens,” the GM Said. “This is a large group, a unique group between that 25-50 range there are a lot of good players that are foundation-type players. You want to be disciplined not trading out of those levels, but I think the teens, if I had to put a number on it, that would probably be the most comfortable spot but you just have to weigh what’s on the table at the time.”
Considering their uncertain status at the position, the Panthers have continually been connected to quarterback prospects, but few pundits believe the organization would actually use the No. 6 pick on a signal-caller. If the front office does indeed have their eye on a QB, then a trade back would make plenty of sense, as the organization could potentially still have their choice at the position in the middle of the first round…all while picking up some extra draft assets.
If the team keeps their pick, it’s expected that they’ll use the selection on one of the higher-acclaimed tackles or pass rushers. In that scenario, they’d probably be taking a chance on a late-round QB…and that would also meansthe organization would enter next season with Sam Darnold as their surefire starting quarterback.