General manager Scott Fitterer and the Carolina Panthers shook up the foundation of the 2023 NFL Draft big time Friday afternoon, acquiring the No. 1 pick from the Chicago Bears.
Said blockbuster trade cost Carolina the ninth overall pick, a future first-round selection, two second rounders and leading receiver D.J. Moore.
To say that it was a franchise-altering move with first-year head coach Frank Reich taking over would be an understatement.
But the Panthers might not be done here. According to Carolina Panthers beat writer Joe Person, they could end up actually moving out of the first pick. A source close to Person indicates that Carolina is high on a couple quarterbacks at the top of the draft. “If they end up liking more than one, they could potentially trade down,” the report read.
Wouldn’t that be something?
At this point, it is believed that Carolina is targeting Ohio State signal caller C.J. Stroud with the first pick. Alabama’s Bryce Young and Anthony Richardson from Florida are also likely in the conversation.
With the NFL Scouting Combine a thing of the past, a lot of the homework has already been done. Carolina will obviously be attending pro days in the coming weeks. Its scouts will join Fitterer and Reich in coming to a final determination about what to do.
Trading back down from one wouldn’t be the craziest thing. Carolina was initially slated to select ninth. None of the three quarterbacks mentioned above would have been available with that pick.
Let’s say that the Houston Texans are enamored with a certain quarterback at No. 2 overall. They might be willing to pay a premium for the first selection. In this scenario, the Carolina Panthers nab one of the quarterbacks they were targeting with the second pick while making up for some of the assets they gave up to Chicago in the first place.
What we do know is that the Panthers have opted to go all in at quarterback after so many years of struggles at that position following Cam Newton’s demise. Whether that means they are going to pull off another blockbuster trade ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft remains to be seen.