ESPN’s Todd McShay: Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks Unlikely to Draft QB in 1st Round

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 25, 2022

National Team quarterback Kenny Pickett, of Pittsburgh, throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA Senior Bowl college football game, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
AP Photo/Butch Dill

None of the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons or Seattle Seahawks may be willing to reach for a quarterback in the top 10 of the 2022 NFL draft.

ESPN's Todd McShay said Monday in the First Draft podcast that "Carolina, according to all the intel that I've gotten, especially over this past weekend, is not taking a quarterback at six."

"We all thought—every one of us thought—it was a better than 50/50 chance that they would," he said beginning at the 11:12 mark. "Now, I think it's about a 10 percent chance."

McShay added that the Falcons and Seahawks aren't targeting a quarterback based on what he has heard.

He then presented a scenario in which Liberty's Malik Willis would be the first quarterback off the board to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 20. From there, the Tennessee Titans (No. 26) would be the only team before the Detroit Lions close out the first round who could plausibly look at a QB.

The draft is likely to follow one of two extremes in a year without can't-miss quarterbacks. Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder is the best one on Bleacher Report's big board, and he only comes in at No. 17.

The Lions, Panthers, Falcons and Seahawks all have the need for a long-term solution under center, yet going that route without trading back would be viewed as a clear reach.

It could take one team diving into the pool before others join in. If Detroit selects Willis at No. 2, for example, Carolina might feel liberated and nervous in equal measure. The stigma of being the first team to draft a QB would be gone. In turn, the Panthers front office could grow concerned the floodgates open a bit and somebody else they like won't be available at a later stage.

The exact opposite situation could unfold. The longer the first round goes without a quarterback being picked, the more emboldened a general manager might feel about waiting.

You don't want to be the only one holding the bag or the last person to the party.

For Willis, Pickett, Ridder and Matt Corral, Thursday is going to be a nerve-racking night.