2022 NFL Draft Rumors: Panthers Have Discussed Trade Back from No. 6 amid QB Buzz

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 13, 2022

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 21: Matt Rhule head coach of Carolina during an NFL football game between the Washington Football Team and the Carolina Panthers on November 21, 2021, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers have reached out to teams about a potential move back from the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft, according to NFL Network's Mike Giardi.

A trade would help Carolina replenish its draft cupboard considering the team doesn't have any picks in the second or third rounds. Giardi also posited that using a top-10 pick on a quarterback this year "might be too much but picking one in the mid first is more palatable."

The quarterback position is one of Carolina's biggest needs with the draft quickly approaching.

For now, Sam Darnold is poised to be the starter in Week 1 despite struggling mightily in his first year with the team. Darnold threw for 2,527 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 appearances. He was next-to-last in defense-adjusted yards above replacement (DYAR) among the 34 quarterbacks listed at Football Outsiders.

The dilemma for the Panthers is that this is a bad year to be looking for a QB in the draft. Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder (No. 17) and Liberty's Malik Willis (No. 46) are the only two signal-callers ranked in the top 50 overall players on Bleacher Report's big board.

Beyond the opportunity cost of potentially bypassing a player who would provide far better value elsewhere on the field, selecting a quarterback in the top 10 typically signifies a multiyear commitment.

The Arizona Cardinals' decision to select Josh Rosen 10th overall in 2018 and follow up with Kyler Murray at No. 1 a year later was a notable exception.

Swinging and missing on a first-round QB can mean a team is bound to that player for two or three years before it moves on to a successor. The New York Giants are entering their fourth year with Daniel Jones at the helm without knowing whether he's the long-term answer.

Striking out on Ridder, Willis or Kenny Pickett would be costly for Carolina.

By moving back in the first round, there would at least be less external pressure on the team and the player out of the gate.