Carolina picked up an additional compensatory pick in the draft. They received the #207 pick in the 6th round for losing Jeff King. However, due to 32 compensatory picks being awarded from the 3rd round forward, the #207 pick last week would have been mid 7th round and is now a late 6th round pick.
Cleveland is willing to trade down from the 4th pick but not interested in moving up. This fuels fire on a possible trade between the Panthers and Browns that would include Jonathan Stewart.
However three other teams, Denver, St. Louis and Pittsburgh, have needs for a number one back. All of this gets more complicated as the days go by. It’s apparent that Justin Blackmon is third on most teams’ boards, plus Ryan Tannehill is a target for Cleveland and Miami. Both teams believe they can get Tannehill somewhere between the 6th and 8th picks. Blackmon will probably be contingent on someone trading with Minnesota to move up to 3.
Denver has multiple picks to package and that would allow the Panthers to hold onto the 9th pick. Pittsburgh has lost Mendenhall for at least the first half of the season, however they would offer no more than a 4th round pick.
St. Louis wants to replace Steven Jackson and owns the 6th pick along with other picks they would part with in the 2nd and 3rd rounds; however, they now show interest in going after Blackmon. Any chance of the Panthers moving up to 6th would probably be a draft day deal where the player the Panthers want is available at 6.
Cleveland’s 4th pick stands as the best deal for the Panthers, if available, with Denver and St. Louis about equal. Pittsburgh seems to be the least attractive. Other teams such as the Bears and New England may show interest in the future.
Those two teams are rumored to be talking a trade for Matt Forte since the one major piece missing in New England is a high-caliber running back. If that deal falls through, and with all the picks New England has available, it would seem they could jump to second in line.
In all cases, any trade would hinge on the Panthers signing Stewart to a long-term deal. What we’re hearing is “no one wants to rent him for a year.”
All of this is caused by Minnesota probably passing on Matt Kalil due to a lack of need at that position. We may see someone try to jump up to 3 to grab him. However, Minnesota has a keen interest in Morris Clairborne, and having picked up 4 compensatory picks with two coming in the 4th round, they wouldn’t want to move down very far unless they were certain he was available.