What would trading down mean for the Panthers?
Any trade down for the Carolina Panthers would not be a disaster by any stretch of the imagination. The more players they can acquire that can contribute in the next year or two, the easier their transition phase will be.
The Panthers lost cornerback James Bradberry in free agency when he joined the New York Giants. He will need to be replaced and a trade down would put the likes of Jeff Gladney, Kristian Fulton, and Trevon Diggs on their radar.
They also lost the services of influential linebacker Luke Kuechly following his shock retirement. This leaves a gaping hole at the second level and a prolific replacement needs to be sought at the earliest opportunity.
Carolina’s defensive front also needs some fresh faces after Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Vernon Butler all left for pastures new. Kawann Short is set to come back from a long-term injury but more will be needed alongside Brian Burns.
Trading down would take the Panthers out of the running for Isaiah Simmons and Derrick Brown. But it could leave them with a hoist of additional selections in the mid-rounds and general manager Marty Hurney specializes in finding players in the particular area of the Draft that can make an impression.
A few hours before the Draft always comes with smokescreens as teams look to get leverage. The Panthers are no different and want to maximize their value for a high-profile first-round pick at No. 7.
Whether that means taking an elite prospect or moving down for a bounty of extra selections, only time will tell.