I know some you have have been huge advocates for trading back and acquiring more picks in what appears to be a fairly loaded draft and others have been preaching BPA at pick 28. I am of the opinion that we should wait and see how the first round plays out before we make such a move to either trade back or stay put. If a guy like Lewan, Martin, or Beckham falls that fills a position of need, I am all for staying put and selecting one of these three. However, it is very possible that none of the above is available when our pick turns up at 28. What do we do now? Do we stay put and draft BPA? Do we reach and draft for need? Can we find a team willing to trade back into the first round?
Insert the New England Patriots. The Patriots have shown interest in and have met with both Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel. Everyone knows that Tom Brady isn't getting any younger and the Pats organization is looking to find his eventual replacement. The Patriots are hoping to draft a quarterback now to give him some time to learn the ropes behind Brady just as Green Bay did with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. The Packers did not have a need at quarterback, but when Rodgers fell in the draft, Green Bay pulled the trigger on the future all-pro quarterback and the results have been phenomenal for their franchise. It appears that the Patriots are hoping for a similar scenario in this draft.
Patriots interest in Manziel and Bridgewater:
Now, enough about the Patriots. What does this mean for the Panthers? I personally think that the Patriots have done a huge favor for our beloved Panthers. If one or more of these quarterbacks falls in the draft, that means that the teams at the top of the draft have passed on them early, hoping that they make it to their second round pick. However, with the Patriots showing interest in drafting a quarterback, this puts the Panthers in a prime position to trade back and acquire more picks in this deep draft. Let's throw out a very possible scenario that could play out on draft day 1.
I don't think Houston will grab a quarterback with the first pick. I just don't think that any quarterback is worthy of the top selection and Houston would be smart to select Jadeveon Clowney to help bolster their defensive line. Now, let's take a look at some of the other quarterback needy teams in the first round. The Jacksonville Jaguars at 3, the Cleveland Browns at 4 and 26, the Oakland Raiders at 5, and the Minnesota Vikings at 8. I think the Titans will pass on a quarterback early and possibly draft one later because Locker has shown flashes of being a decent quarterback. I can see the Jaguars selecting Bortles at 3, Cleveland taking Sammy Watkins at 4, Oakland taking Matthews or Robinson at 5, and then Minnesota taking Johnny Manziel. Moving on to pick 26, Cleveland has shown a lot of interest in Derek Carr as of late and I could see them grabbing him with their second first round pick. Should this scenario play out like this, that would leave Teddy Bridgewater still available at pick number 27, and I don't believe the Saints would take him there.
Now the Panthers have some options as to what to do with their first round pick. With Bridgewater available, teams that passed on a quarterback early, such as Houston and Oakland could be nervous that the Patriots would pull the trigger on Bridgewater. Houston and Oakland could look to trade back into the first to select Bridgewater before the Patriots do so, and that means trade possibilities for the Panthers. The Panthers could trade back with the Texans or Raiders and acquire their second and third round picks, and possibly an additional later round pick. This allows us to avoid reaching for someone in the first and grabs us an additional pick in this draft.
Our picks in the first 3 rounds of the scenario may look something like this:
Let's say we trade back with Oakland, giving them our first pick for their pick at 36 and 67.
2nd Round (36) : Morgan Moses OT UVA
2nd Round (60) : Terrence Brooks FS FSU
3rd Round (67) : Dakota Dozier OG Furman
3rd Round (92) : Donte Moncrief WR Ole Miss
Let me know what you think about the Panthers trading back to acquire more picks in the comments. Could you see this scenario happening on day 1 of the draft?