As the Carolina Panthers are on the back end of free agency, the biggest question about the team has yet to be answered: What are General Scott Fitterer, Matt Rhule, and the rest of the staff going to do about the quarterback position? Fortunately for Carolina, there should be plenty of options for them this off-season.
With Carolina picking eighth overall, there is a good chance that at least one of the top five quarterbacks in the draft is available, possibly two. If Carolina deems one of them as “the guy”, they could always trade up a bit to secure their franchise quarterback. Finding a quarterback that is comfortable in Head Coach Matt Rhule and Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady’s offense should be the highest priority this off-season, and lucky for the Panthers, any of the top five quarterbacks would make sense in their own way.
Can Panthers make a splash at QB position?
Carolina could also make a huge splash, trading for disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson. Panther fans are very familiar with Watson, as he played his college ball just three hours away at the University of Clemson. A superstar already in the league, Watson would turn Carolina into a playoff contender, though would leave the cupboard of draft picks dry. Carolina would also have to trade some of its younger players such as Christian McCaffrey or Brian Burns.
Finally, Carolina could also just stick with last year’s quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Though not the answer at quarterback, Bridgewater was about average last season, finishing 17th in QBR according to ESPN. Carolina could wait until next year to draft their future quarterback or even draft one later in the draft. This scenario is the least likely of the three, as Rhule will want to make a major upgrade at the position.
In addition to quarterback, the Panthers will also be looking at cornerback, offensive tackle, linebacker, tight end, and wide receiver. For this mock draft, the Panthers will not be trading for Watson, instead of going the 2021 NFL Draft route.