FanPost

Panthers Need To Position Themselves To Trade Down

Right now the Falcons have made it publicly known that they want to trade up, likely to fill one of the gaping holes in their secondary left by Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes, but they could use a pass rusher also. The Panthers need to let it be known that there are 3-4 players that they are targeting at #14 (without identifying who those players are or what positions they play of course) and if those players are not available, they are willing to swap 1st round picks in exchange for picking up an extra 2nd rounder and getting back into the 3rd round.

Why? Because it is all about A) difference makers and B) filling holes. If the Panthers can get a Chance Warmack, Lane Johnson (I would prefer Warmack because I would rather replace Hangartner at RG than Bell at RT but another story for another day), Kenny Vaccaro or Star Lotulelei then go for it because those guys are good enough to win you games by making plays and perhaps even making other players better. (Though I personally like Keenan Allen and many like Tavon Austin, they are not listed because either being any more than a 3rd WR as a rookie would be a tall order.)

But if those guys are gone and we are looking at Sheldon Richardson, Sylvester Williams, Xavier Rhodes, Menelik Watson, Cordarrelle Patterson or other complimentary or developmental players, I say add picks and fill holes. Now Sheldon Richardson is a bad example, because he and Lotulelei are considered to be the only 3 down DTs in this draft but I will use him anyway. Richardson is better than Johnathan Hankins, Sylvester Williams or Jesse Williams, but not enough better to justify not being able to pick up two more starters with the 2nd and 3rd rounder that you would get in a trade.

Another thing: this draft has depth in both line positions. So instead of using your 1st rounder on an OL or DT, you could trade down and get a safety like Matt Elam or Eric Reid (remember Charles Godfrey can play both safety spots) and then get the best DT and OL in the 2nd round. That will allow the 3rd round pick - still an impact player - to be a very good prospect at developmental WR or CB (or if you want to be aggressive and innovative, a TE!) with the final 3 picks for depth (and hopefully to replace veterans among the "top 51" guys counting towards the salary cap that can be released).

Again, not worth it is a potential pro bowler is available at #14, but a very smart move if the Panthers "just miss" the guys that they really want and have to settle. Again, the Falcons publicly - and other teams privately - want to move up. Now would be a good time for the Panthers to call them and tell them to make their offer in case all the difference makers that the Panthers want are off the board.

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