Carolina Panthers News: Matt Rhule almost traded down in 2020 NFL Draft

Carolina Panthers, Matt Rhule (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers, Matt Rhule (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images) /

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule was adamant in trading down from the No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft but was denied. It’s an interesting look behind the scenes as decisions were made.

Now that the 2020 NFL Draft is officially in the books, the Carolina Panthers are ready to focus on what awaits in training camp, preseason football, and eventually the regular season. They made NFL history by using all seven of their draft picks on defensive players and are hoping that aspect of the team is significantly better this time around. Surely, it can’t be worse than what the football world saw on defense last year.

New head coach Matt Rhule knows exactly what it takes to rebuild a bad team into a contender. He’s done it a few times in college and it’s a big reason why the Panthers have given him the keys to the franchise to restore it back to winning ways. Rhule, if anything, knows that in order to rebuild the right way, it’s all done through draft picks. So much so, he was actually interested in trading down from the No. 7 overall pick to acquire more draft picks to work with.

On the radio with WFNZ Sports Radio, Rhule confirmed that he wanted to add more draft picks, by trading down from No. 7 to the teens and go from there. At the end of it all, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney ultimately denied making such a move as their draft board had defensive tackle Derrick Brown as their main player to select.

Matt Rhule wanted to trade down for more draft picks but was denied

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In the grand scheme of things, this wouldn’t have been such a bad idea. There was a lot of speculation that the Panthers were willing to trade down if the right deal came along but it was probably mostly based on if Brown was still available or not. If another team drafted him, perhaps trading down would have ultimately been the better decision since their main target was taken off the board.

At any rate, it’s interesting to see what could have happened and the ramifications if it did. Who knows, perhaps the Panther could have added more draft picks in this year’s and next year’s draft by trading down. The more draft picks a team has, the faster a rebuild tends to happen since they’re able to bring in additional new talent to build a younger foundation.

Of course, that depends on the general manager and their scouting staff to make great selections that actually pan out but one can never underestimate the power of draft capital. For the most part, the Panthers got many high grades for this year’s draft class and are looking to be in a good position to get better over the next few years. Sure, that might just only equal a few more wins in 2020, but it’ll at least be a step in the right direction if everything falls into place in 2021 and 2022.