The Carolina Panthers are widely regarded as the team that will take the first quarterback off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft. Four of our five CBS Sports NFL Draft experts have Carolina taking either Kenny Pickett out of Pittsburgh or Malik Willis from Liberty with the No. 6 overall pick, but a new report indicates the Panthers would rather trade out of their first pick.
The Panthers have talked to numerous teams about trading down, per NFL Media. As Mike Giardi explains it, Carolina could pick a quarterback later in the first round while also acquiring draft capital at the same time. This 2022 class is not headlined by the quarterback prospects much like last year's class was, so instead of quarterback-needy teams trading up, we could see one trade down.
Carolina is in need of more draft capital. After their No. 6 overall pick, the Panthers aren't slated to pick again until the No. 137 overall pick, which falls in the fourth round. Carolina's second-round pick belongs to the New York Jets due to the Sam Darnold trade, its third-rounder is with the Jacksonville Jaguars due to the C.J. Henderson trade and an early fourth-round pick is with the Jets as well.
How the quarterbacks fare in the first round will be one of the main storylines to follow this year. It's very possible we could see just one signal-caller selected in the top 15, or we could see two taken in the top 10. The top two quarterbacks are seen as Pickett and Willis, so if Carolina can find a way to strike a deal with one of the teams in the middle of the first round, it could snag one of the two.
It does take two to tango, however, and finding a trade partner could be difficult. Several teams at the top of the draft order are open to trading down, as both the Jaguars at No. 1 overall and Detroit Lions at No. 2 overall have shown interest in moving back.