Carolina Panthers own pick No. 16 in the 2019 NFL Draft
The Carolina Panthers currently own pick No. 16 for the 2019 NFL Draft.
After starting the season with six wins in eight games, the Carolina Panthers appeared poised for a return to the playoffs. Unfortunately, seven straight losses capsized the season and ultimately the team elected to shut down quarterback Cam Newton and focus on the future of the franchise.
That future was on display over the final two games as Carolina used three different quarterbacks and nearly 2017 first-round selection, Christian McCaffrey, to finish the season under center. If anything, the sheer durability of Newton was highlighted as he had to be forced from the playing field despite battling shoulder soreness for much of the year.
An impressive win over NFC South divisional rival and top NFC playoff seed New Orleans, significantly dropped the Panthers first round placement for the upcoming NFL Draft. Entering the contest, the Panthers could have exited with a top-10 pick, but the win over a depleted Saints unit, caused Carolina to fall back by virtue of their overall record.
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Finishing the year at seven wins, the Panthers tied with three other teams who have an identical record. Even with the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins, head to head matchups and other variables pushed Carolina further down the line.
As a result, for the first time ever the Panthers own the No. 16 pick in the first-round of the NFL Draft. The midpoint from each of the past two drafts, McCaffrey (No. 8) and wide receiver D.J. Moore (No. 24), there are a number of positions general manager Marty Hurney could target with the pick.
Defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, offensive line and secondary are all viable options. As the offseason progresses and current players reveal their future plans, the actual position should come into focus. Julius Peppers, Thomas Davis and Mike Adams could join Panthers center Ryan Kalil in retirement but none have released any official word at this time.
Depending on the depth of the target position, the Panthers may elect to trade the pick in order to move either up or down in the first-round. As the offseason progresses, this should also become more clear.