Should the Panthers consider a quarterback with the No. 7 pick?
It’s officially the start of a new decade and a new era for the Carolina Panthers. There will be a new head coach in 2020. Could there also be a new quarterback?
Since it is only January it is probably too early to speculate about who the Panthers should draft with the highest pick they have had since they held the No. 1 overall pick in 2011. That year they, of course, decided on a quarterback from Auburn by the name of Cam Newton.
Fast forward nine years and Cam proved to be the right pick. He led the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance and won an MVP award. He will go down as the most exciting quarterback in franchise history.
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But now Cam’s health is in constant question. When healthy he is still a top-tier player in the league. The only problem is that he hasn’t been completely healthy in over two years.
If he can work his way back to full strength there will be little argument from Panthers fans that he should be the teams starting quarterback in 2020. Unfortunately, that is a big if.
Carolina has shown an early interest in Josh McDaniels, Mike McCarthy and Eric Bieniemy. All of these candidates are offensive-minded, innovative coaches that would be expected to implement their scheme right away. This further complicates the return of Newton to the Panthers because these coaches would certainly look to add “their guy” at quarterback to fit the system that they want to run.
The questionable health of Newton and the addition of a new coaching staff begs the question, should the Panthers consider taking a quarterback with their No. 7 pick in the upcoming draft?
The Cincinnati Bengals have the No. 1 pick and are expected to take quarterback Joe Burrow out of LSU who is the consensus top-rated prospect in this year’s draft.
After that, the Redskins, Lions, Giants and Dolphins round out the top five. The Redskins and Giants drafted quarterbacks in the first round of last year’s draft so they are out of the market for one this year.
The Lions have Matthew Stafford under a huge contract so they will not be looking to take a signal-caller either.
The Dolphins could end falling for a QB come draft time, but they have so many holes to fill that they will probably go best player available and at least see what they have in third-year player and former first-round pick Josh Rosen. Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick also played well for them down the stretch.
Next up is the Los Angeles Chargers who could be looking to move on from the aging Philip Rivers. The top quarterbacks on the board would be Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Georgia’s Jake Fromm.
Assuming the Chargers take one of them, that still leaves two of the top four quarterback prospects on the board when it is the Panthers turn to pick.
It might be hard for Carolina’s new coaching staff to turn down a top prospect at the league’s most important position.
History has shown that when the Panthers have a top ten pick they do not mess it up. In 2012 the team had the ninth pick of the draft and selected All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly. In 2017 they selected eighth overall and took record-setting running back Christian McCaffrey. As mentioned above, they selected Cam with the first overall pick in 2011.
Whatever Carolina decides to do with the No. 7 pick in the upcoming draft expect them to select a player that will be dominating in a Panthers uniform for years to come.