Ask the fans of all thirty-two teams what their draft preference is and you're liable to hear at least half respond with a simple two-word phrase: "trade down". The idea of stockpiling draft picks is perfect in theory, but rarely works in practice. It takes a rare combination of a worthy player, perceived value, and agreeable terms -- all finalized within minutes in order to make a deal on draft day. The Carolina Panthers would love to trade down. They have needs all over their roster, holes to fill, and desperately need an influx of talent. It's impossible to predict three months out what could happen on draft day, but there's one scenario that could prompt a trade-down for the Panthers.
If you're a team in need of a quarterback, then that is your biggest need. It doesn't matter if you have the league's worst signal caller, or a mediocre one -- teams in need of quarterbacks have to get one. Many believed the Panthers shouldn't take a QB out of need in 2011, and while there aren't always success stories behind drafting for QB need, it's a position that organizations have to keep throwing things at the wall to get something to stick. Case in point Seattle, where the Seahawks tried trading for QBs, signing them as free agents, and drafting until they finally hit gold with Russell Wilson.
Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Geno Smith will be the first quarterback off the board -- that's a given. Whether that's #1 overall to Kansas City, or further back in the top five -- he'll be taken early. From there it gets a lot more interesting. Provided a team isn't head-over-heels with any other QB, it's unlikely they'll use a top 15 pick on one. Instead, there could be no fewer than six teams in the top ten who need QBs, but will wait until the second round to get one. This is where the water gets muddy, and where a trade is possible.
Is there any scenario where the Panthers trade down?
Cat Scratch Reader | Feb 13