Panthers might have to trade up for a QB in 2022 draft


With less than two weeks until the 2022 NFL draft, no quarterback in this year’s class has emerged as a “safe” pick—let alone as the guy. Yet, the Carolina Panthers may still have to trade up to get one.

In his newest edition of Football Morning in America, NBC scribe Peter King revealed the latest buzz surrounding the annual three-day extravaganza. Featured in his column were the opinions of three league “decision-makers” in regards to Carolina’s quarterback conundrum.

One those decision-makers believes, even with the Panthers sitting at No. 6 overall in the order, general manager Scott Fitterer and head coach Matt Rhule may have to move even higher to secure a passer if they really want one.

“I could actually see a scenario where if Carolina is focused on one guy at quarterback, they might have to move up a spot or two to make sure they get their guy,” King’s source stated. “I say that because you look at the teams in the middle of the round. New Orleans might want to move up, and with two ones now [at 16 and 19], they’ve got the ammo to move up. Pittsburgh [at 20] has had all their people at all these quarterback workouts—Mike Tomlin, [GM] Kevin Colbert, scouts. I’ll be really surprised if they don’t take one, and if they’re fixed on one guy, they won’t be shy about moving up to get one. This is Colbert’s last year [as GM], and I’m sure he wants to leave the team with options at quarterback.”

That’d be an extra bit of pressure for owner David Tepper, too—who probably wouldn’t want to see his division rivals nor his former organization in Pittsburgh jump him for a quarterback. Plus, how much more rejection can he take at the position, especially after missing out on Deshaun Watson following a year-long pursuit?

And if there is a guy worth jumping up for—and he’d definitely have to be worth Carolina’s while given their lack of second and third-round picks—who would it be?

Is it the highest-floor prospect in Kenny Pickett? Is it the highest-ceiling prospect in Malik Willis? Or is it the dark horse who’s been picking up some recent steam in Matt Corral?

Story continues

Since such a leap can only be justified by the desire for a potential superstar, the smart money would be on Willis. But we won’t know that until pick No. 6 (or sooner) on April 28.

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