The NFL Draft is less than a week away, which means that just about anything and everything can happen. Nobody knows exactly what other teams are thinking, as every single team is trying to deceive the others. However, if the latest rumors are to be believed, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is trying to convince his team to trade up and grab offensive tackle Penei Sewell. Meanwhile in Carolina, some believe that the Panthers will draft one of the top quarterbacks if they’re in a position to do so, despite the presence of Sam Darnold.
NFL Rumors: Penei Sewell, Justin Herbert, Sam Darnold
The Los Angeles Chargers have a great young quarterback in Justin Herbert. The sixth-overall pick set the world on fire as a rookie, and he looks to be the long-term answer under center. However, his offensive line is a hot mess, currently ranked as the worst unit in the league by Pro Football Focus. Los Angeles should address this position in the NFL Draft, and Herbert wants the best guy in the class.
According to Herbert himself, the quarterback is doing his best to convince the Chargers to go after the big-bodied tackle. Sewell is obviously a great prospect, and he has experience working with Herbert. The two played together at Oregon, and Herbert clearly wants the duo to reunite at the NFL level. Herbert is also pitching Sewell’s ability to positively impact the locker room, as the franchise quarterback said that he is “an even bigger fan of the way he is off the field.”
The Chargers currently have the 13th pick in the NFL Draft, which means that they probably won’t be able to secure Sewell’s services without trading up. For what it’s worth, general manager Tom Telesco recently said that the team is more than a good offensive line away from winning the Super Bowl. This could be a total bluff, but this does imply that the team isn’t planning on moving heaven and earth to give Herbert a franchise left tackle.
Florio: Panthers Could Draft A Quarterback Even With Sam Darnold
The Carolina Panthers clearly believe that Teddy Bridgewater is not a good enough option under center and tried to upgrade the position throughout the offseason. However, after missing on Matthew Stafford and the crop of free agents, the team eventually decided to swing a trade for Sam Darnold. Darnold has not played well in his short NFL career, but Carolina is hoping a change of scenery can turn him into a starting-caliber quarterback.
However, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Panthers might not be putting all of their eggs in Darnold’s basket. In a recent article, Florio outlines a situation where the Panthers could pull the trigger if Trey Lance, Justin Fields, or Mac Jones falls to the eighth-overall pick. The Detroit Lions currently own the seventh-overall pick and appear to be the most likely candidate to trade back with a quarterback-needy team like the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, or Chicago Bears.
By acquiring Darnold, Florio theorizes that the Panthers have created the illusion that they are not actively looking to improve the quarterback position. This could de-incentivize any of the aforementioned teams to trade up into that seventh spot, which means that one of the top quarterbacks could fall right into Carolina’s lap. If this happens, Florio believes that the Panthers will pull the trigger on the rookie and immediately start shopping Darnold to quarterback-needy teams.
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