CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) -The Carolina Panthers are officially on the clock.
“If you have a conviction on a guy, you go get him,” Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said. “It’s pretty simple that way. If you don’t know and you’re going to give up all these resources to go up and get him, you’re hurting your team in the long run.”
Carolina is going all in by making arguably the most significant trade in franchise history. The Panthers are now in a position to draft their quarterback of the future after trading two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and star wideout DJ Moore to the Bears.
“This is a huge decision,” Panthers head coach Frank Reich said. “It would be malpractice not to really vet through every one of those decisions. What’s the impact? What are the unattended consequences? You have to think through all that, and that’s where we’re at right now.”
Though the Panthers have all the leverage sitting at the top of the draft, trading up for quarterbacks hasn’t always panned out for teams across the league.
Since 2012, six franchises have traded into the top five to pick a gunslinger. It occurred most recently when the 49ers moved from 12th to 3rd to select Trey Lance in 2021. Jared Goff, who the Rams traded up from 15th to draft with the first overall pick in 2016, is the only QB of that group to win a playoff game.
Selecting the Panthers’ first franchise QB since Cam Newton is a collaborative effort that Scott Fitterer is confident the front office will get right as they begin a new era under Frank Reich.
“Quarterback is the biggest thing that we need to fix long term,” said Fitterer. “We’ll figure out who that is. Is it Sam? Is it one of these other guys in the draft? We’ll figure it out. You better be right. You better have conviction if you do move up. When you do that, you’re all in.”