Per DraftKings.com, the Panthers and New England Patriots are tied at +300 odds (bet $100 to win $300) to take Fields in the first round on Thursday.
The Panthers look to be in a good spot for one of the top quarterbacks in this year's class. It's widely assumed that the top three picks will be signal-callers, but there's no obvious candidate from No. 4 until their top selection at No. 8 overall that could be targeting a player at the position.
The Atlanta Falcons, slotted fourth, could try to find Matt Ryan's replacement, but by recently restructuring his contract, they made it more difficult to move on from him after this season. His deal includes a $40.525 million dead cap number in 2022, per Spotrac.
The Cincinnati Bengals (No. 5) and Miami Dolphins (No. 6) have second-year quarterbacks they are still developing.
The Detroit Lions, picking seventh, could look for a long-term answer at the position, but ESPN's Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano reported that people around the league expect them to take a wide receiver for Jared Goff.
Of course, the Panthers have already made a move for a quarterback if they want to address another position. They sent second- and fourth-round picks in 2022 and a 2021 sixth-rounder to the New York Jets for Sam Darnold.
Per Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, Carolina intends to exercise Darnold's fifth-year option for the 2022 season.
Head coach Matt Rhule and general manager Scott Fitterer, who is entering his first season with the club, are taking over a Panthers roster still in the early stages of a rebuild. Finding a high-ceiling quarterback, like Fields, could expedite their path back to playoff contention in the NFC South.
Fields threw for 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns with a 70.2 completion percentage in eight games for the Buckeyes in 2020.