The Carolina Panthers currently hold the ninth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but that could change in the coming weeks. The Chicago Bears have the first-overall pick, and they could be willing to trade it to the Panthers if they’re sold on Justin Fields. Obviously, that type of trade would require a king’s ransom, and the fine folks at Pro Football Focus have determined the approximate price the Panthers would have to pay.
PFF Projects Hefty Trade Price For Panthers to Get First Overall Pick
According to their calculations, PFF predicts that the Panthers would need to give up their first-round picks in the 2023, 2024, and 2025 drafts, along with their 2023 late second-round pick, if they want to get their choice of quarterback.
Needless to say, this is a lot to give up for any one player, even if it is at the game’s most important position. PFF themselves said that mathematically speaking, the Panthers would lose this trade, but this is the closest they could get to making an even deal for both sides.
Of course, PFF’s pick valuations are based on aggregate value and don’t account for the specific prospects entering the drafts. This does sound like a huge price to pay, but if the Panthers thought they could get someone as good as Patrick Mahomes, it’s a price they’d pay every day. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the prospects themselves, as well as the current state of Carolina’s roster, and see if the team should consider a trade for the first-overall pick.
Should the Panthers Pull the Trigger?
As of this posting, the consensus QB1 seems to be Bryce Young. While a lot can change between now and the start of the 2023 NFL Draft, let’s assume the Alabama product would the Panthers target in any trade-up scenario.
Bryce Young is a good quarterback, and he has a lot of the traits you look for in a franchise passer. The prospect has great accuracy to all levels of the field, and the arm to make NFL-caliber throws. While he’s no Lamar Jackson, he can also use his legs to extend plays and pick up yards when nobody’s open.
bryce young mixtape pic.twitter.com/Hyl7cp8F2W
— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) February 21, 2023
Young has what it takes to be a good quarterback, but he probably won’t be an elite one. His small build will make it hard for him to work the middle of the field, and as Russell Wilson proved last year, that can be a problem if you’re not consistently making great plays on the outside. Additionally, his sub-200-pound figure might not be able to survive a full season of NFL hits.
Basically, this is one long way of saying that Bryce Young is not Trevor Lawrence. There are some flaws to his tape and there is a chance he doesn’t pan out at the NFL level. And while Young is the best quarterback prospect in the draft, he’s not the only good one. CJ Stroud and Anthony Richardson both have a chance to be just as good as Young, and Carolina could afford to wait and trade for whichever guy ends up slipping. Considering the extreme cost of trading up, this is probably the best move for Carolina.
Main Photo: Gary Cosby Jr. – USA Today Sports