2011 NFL Draft Carolina Panthers: Trading the No. 1 Draft Pick Is the Best Move

James Brown@@chasingballgameSenior Analyst IFebruary 14, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Carolina Panthers: Trading the No. 1 Draft Pick Is the Best Move

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 29:  The stage is shown at the 2006 NFL Draft on April 29, 2006 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The Carolina Panthers had the worst record in the NFL, which means they have the rights to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

    The Panthers have the flexibility to do a multitude of things with the No. 1 pick overall. They can draft any player that has declared for the draft, or they can move the pick depending on the needs of the team.

    So what should the Panthers do with the pick?

    We may not find out until the commissioner reads the selection on draft day, but here is what the Panthers could possibly do with the pick.

Draft Da'Quan Bowers?

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Da'Quan Bowers #93 of the Clemson Tigers against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Da’Quan Bowers is a heat-seeking, quarterback-sacking, defensive powerhouse.  He would provide the Panthers with their first pass-rushing threat since Julius Peppers left town for the Windy City.

    Bowers seems to be a “can’t miss” prospect and drafting a semi-local kid would look good in the press.

    The Panthers would not be sorry if they drafted Bowers who has skyrocketed up the draft boards, but I believe the Panthers should pass on Bowers for a different option.

Draft Cam Newton?

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - FEBRUARY 10: 2010 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton of Auburn throws the ball during his workout routine for the media at Cathedral High School's sports stadium on February 10, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent Horn
    Kent Horner/Getty Images

    Cam Newton is the flavor of the week for the 2011 draft. His impressive media workout has the internet buzzing with his rise to the top of the draft board.

    The Panthers drafted a trio of signal callers in last year’s draft, but none of them seem to be working out. Jimmy Clausen played admirably, but with little help, he was swallowed up by opposing defenses.

    As good as the hype is on Newton, it is just hype. The Panthers would sell plenty of jerseys if they selected Newton, but in reality, would be taking a huge risk.

Draft Nick Fairley?

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Nick Fairley #90 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates the Tigers 22-19 victory against the Oregon Ducks during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    New Carolina coach Ron Rivera has a 4-3 defensive system, and Fairley will fit nicely up front in this area. It is obvious that a defensive coach would love to grab a defensive player in the draft, and Fairly has jumped up the chart after he had an impressive showing in the national championship game.

    If the Cats were one piece away from competing, this pick would make more sense, but they need multiple pieces, so they should pass on Fairley.

Draft A.J. Green?

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 30:  A.J. Green #8 of the Georgia Bulldogs prepares to run a pattern during the game against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field on October 30, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    A.J. Green is an absolute stud, and with a huge frame, he has the potential to be a playmaker in the NFL from day one.  He has a very similar build to some of the current elite wide receivers in the NFL, but there is one huge problem with this pick.

    Who will throw the ball to Green?

    The Panthers will be primarily a running team until they can get a quarterback that can man the position. With that in mind, passing on Green is the way to go.

Trade the No. 1 pick?

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    ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Jimmy Clausen #2 of the Carolina Panthers against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on January 2, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Carolina Panthers should trade the No. 1 pick. It is the best move for the team and makes the most sense. BetDSI will offer betting on the NFL draft, and my money is on a trade in this spot.

    Despite the strong possibility that a rookie cap will be instated, the first-round overall pick will be expensive, and the Panthers don’t like to spend money. Shipping this pick off to another team saves the team money for spending on possible free agents.

    This pick seems to be in higher demand than in recent years. Teams are scrambling for a quarterback, and there are only a few top-tier passers in the draft this year which makes this pick very valuable.

    The Panthers need more than one piece, and trading this pick would allow the Panthers to get multiple picks or players in return. This could fill multiple holes for the Panthers and get them headed in the right direction at the start of next season.

    Anything can happen on draft day, but the best move for the Panthers would be to trade this pick.

    Matt Regaw is a B/R Featured Columnist and the founder of BookieBlitz.com, your one-stop shop for sports articles, previews and predictions. Feel free to contact Matt at mregaw@gmail.com.