One of the biggest NFL draft selections with unknown trickle-down effects belongs to the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers, who hold the No. 6 overall pick in the first round, have questions pertaining to their Sam Darnold-led quarterback room. However, opinions vary greatly when it comes to whether or not a signal-caller in this year’s class is worthy of a top-10 selection. Because of that, along with the fact the Panthers have a massive gap between their first and second selections (No. 137), Carolina is a true wild card.
It seems like all options are on the table two days before the NFL draft.
Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer, as shared by NFL Media’s Cameron Wolfe, told reporters Tuesday how there are “a couple” of quarterbacks Carolina would feel comfortable taking at No. 6 overall. Fitterer also noted how there are three or four teams who have showed interested in trading up for Carolina’s selection. The Panthers, as Wolfe acknowledged, would be open to trading back if their top prospects are off the board.
Oddsmakers seem to have indicated the Panthers going in one of two directions.
Carolina has even-money prices to draft either a quarterback or offensive lineman with their first-rounder, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The betting prices then fall to defensive back (14-to-1), edge rusher (15-to-1) and wide receiver (18-to-1).
Offensive tackle, by all accounts, is one of the deepest positions in the draft. Ickey Ekwonu, Evan Neal and Charles Cross are among those at the top of mock draft boards.
When it comes to quarterback, though, it feels like much more of a two-horse race between Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett. Willis is the betting favorite to be the first quarterback selected (-190) with Pickett not far behind (+170) on DraftKings.
The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.