Panthers are sending signals they want to trade down in Round 1

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have a lot of holes to fill heading into the 2020 season. That’s why Carolina wants to trade down from the No. 7 pick in the NFL Draft.

Matt Rhule is chomping at the bit to add more talent to his Carolina Panthers roster. He’ll need to wait a little longer than expected in the 2020 NFL Draft to do so. Carolina is showing clear signs that they are a team interested in moving down in Round 1.

The Panthers aren’t going out and putting a for sale sign on the No. 7 pick. Instead, they’re trying to exert more subtle pressure on franchises interested in acquiring the selection. That’s why they’re going out of their way to do research on quarterback prospect Jordan Love.

Carolina isn’t going to spend a first-round pick on a quarterback after inking Teddy Bridgewater to a multi-year contract in free agency. Spending time on Love is a smokescreen designed to scare other teams interested in drafting the young signal caller into moving up to take him. The No. 7 pick is near the top of where Love might be selected.

The Panthers would do well to convince another team it’s the pick they need to acquire to make sure they can secure the services of the former Utah State signal caller. That might require the Chargers passing on him one pick before, but they seem to be more interested in Justin Herbert.

The payoff for the Panthers is obvious. They can move out of the No. 7 pick and acquire additional draft capital. The pain for Carolina would be passing on an instant impact starter like defensive tackle Derrick Brown. The pleasure would be getting more picks to help Rhule accelerate his roster transformation.

Specifically, the Panthers should be looking to find a defensive tackle and a cornerback who can start right away in the early stages of the draft. Moving down a few spots and still being in a position to take a prospect like Javon Kinlaw or CJ Henderson in Round 1 would leave the Panthers with better odds of filling both needs. The extra draft capital acquired by moving down for the No. 7 pick could help Carolina move back up into the later part of Round 1 or higher in Round 2 to draft another high quality prospect.

Next: 5 players Panthers could draft in Round 1

Trading down may not be an exciting prospect for Panthers fans but it’s what the team would like to do. Executing the plan well could help maximize Carolina’s roster talent in 2020.

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