It's a statement we've seen a lot on CSR, and amongst the Carolina Panthers fanbase over the last few months. As the draft process has progressed we've seen 'sure-things' become less sure, and players off the map rise to prominence. This has left the 2012 first round with an almost palpable air of ambiguity that has caused most to realize this is a draft class with a deep pool of talent, but very shallow in the top 10. For a team like the Panthers who have many needs it seems like trading back would be the ideal scenario.
Enter Rich Cimini of ESPN- New York who gives us the out we're looking for:
The Jets also have the hots for South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram, a versatile pass rusher who can play almost anywhere in the front seven. There are some who can believe he can be a 4-3 MLB. He has serious wheels. Against Georgia, he took a direct snap on a fake punt and ran 68 yards for a TD. Hey, maybe the Jets can let him run the wildcat. (Kidding.) Ingram, projected as a top-10 pick, is someone the Jets might be willing to move up for.
If Cimini is on the money as the Jets are turned on by Ingram it makes sense Marty Hurney plays pimp to ensure this union happens. It's hard not to talk about the 2007 draft in relation to a potential Jets trade, and that's because it was the biggest coup of Marty Hurney's career as he orchestrated the trade which ultimately landed the Panthers with Jon Beason and Ryan Kalil- all for the low cost of moving down 11 spots. Given the picks are higher it's safe to assume the price would be equal, maybe with Carolina netting a 4th or 5th round pick too.
After the jump I'll take a look at two scenario's- a dream one that could set the Panthers up long term, and a nightmare one that could set them back. Both of which revolve around a trade with the Jets.
The Nightmare Scenario
Trading back isn't always the land of milk and honey we like to project it to be. Kansas City looked wise in 2011 moving back with Cleveland, but ended up with a problem child in Jonathan Baldwin- ultimately missing out on two of the top OL in the draft, a position they sorely need.
This is a middling draft to be sure, so trading back makes sense. But imagine if the following were to occur:
Now the Carolina Panthers are sitting at #16 with Michael Brockers, Trent Richardson and Kendall Wright being the BPAs. Obviously Carolina have spent time with Brockers, but was missing out on Fletcher Cox, Luke Kuechly or David DeCastro worth getting that extra 2nd round pick?
Basically the Panthers end up in a situation where they'd probably take Michael Brockers- and he would not improve the pass rush year one, and would likely take 2-3 years to reach his potential. Long term it's a smart move, but it doesn't strike while the iron is hot. Kendall Wright would be intriguing, and I'll be running a draft profile on him soon- but does he really fill a need year one?
The Dream Scenario
I like to close things on a good note, so imagine the following if you will:
In this scenario desperation forces Philadelphia to take Jonathan Martin, and Seattle are forced to take an edge rusher- reaching for Mercilus early. This leaves Carolina with Kuechly and Cox on the board, as well as a cadre of other players.
What do you think Panthers fans? Is a trade back worth it regardless of the circumstances? What it New York called tomorrow and offered the deal, unwilling to wait until draft day. Would you still do it?