Panthers fans are clamoring for a change in leadership or, at the very least, for the team’s leadership to make it clear the direction the team is heading. Hopefully, a lot of this information will become clear on draft night.
Will the Panthers trade back from the 6th pick or stay put and draft the team’s next franchise QB? Scott Fitterer, the team’s GM, is known for his draft-day trades. Last year, the Panthers entered the draft with seven picks and ended the draft with 12 after several trades.
Many analysts have the team pegged to draft either Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett with that 6th pick. A lot has been debated about whether they have the upside to being a top 10 pick. Pickett also has many ties to the current coaching staff, having been recruited and committed to playing at Temple under Matt Rhule. Many pundits have the team taking Kenny Pickett, while Mel Kiper’s recent draft board has the team taking Malik Willis.
What if the team isn’t sold on a QB? The move may be to trade the 6th pick to the highest bidder, stacking picks in rounds 2-4 and either drafting the best available tackle later in the 1st or the best QB available at that time. If this scenario plays out, they may still be able to land Evan Neal, a tackle from Alabama, and/or their pick of Matt Corral, Sam Howell, or Desmond Ridder.
This draft is a make-or-break situation for both David Tepper and Matt Rhule as the Carolina fan base is losing its patience. While Rhule stated this could be a 7-year rebuild, his hot seat may be too hot to last that length of time. One thing is for a certain, draft night can be highly unpredictable.