Carolina Panthers: Odd choices from ESPN’s NFL re-draft

Which way would the Carolina Panthers go if the NFL was completely redrafted?

The Carolina Panthers are currently in the early stages of their rebuild. But which way would they go if the entire NFL was redrafted?

That was a question posed by ESPN to its beat writers. And David Newton was tasked with picking four players capable of turning around the fortunes of the franchise.

The format was base on the 128 foundational players from all 32 teams. Each writer had to pick a quarterback, an offensive and defensive player, in addition to a “wildcard” of their choosing.

His picks were somewhat surprising, to say the least. Newton opted to go with Joey Bosa as his first selection at No. 7 overall following a standout start to his career with the Los Angeles Chargers.

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This was followed by another dominant defensive player in the form of DeForest Buckner at No. 58, who was recently the subject of a high-profile trade from the San Francisco 49ers to the Indianapolis Colts.

Who was the Carolina Panthers franchise quarterback in the re-draft?

Newton’s third-rounder saw him take Jarrett Stidham as the Panthers’ hypothetical quarterback of the future. This was one of the more peculiar selections of the entire ESPN draft, with the unproven player yet to see any significant game time. Things might change in 2020 as the New England Patriots placed their faith in their 2019 draft pick following the departure of Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rounding off the writer’s choices were incoming rookie Jedrick Wills Jr. at No. 122. The former Alabama standout has yet to play a single NFL snap. But he comes into the league with a big reputation and was taken tenth overall by the Cleveland Browns.

These selections on Carolina’s behalf didn’t exactly get the biggest reception from analyst Mike Clay, who put the picks in tier four category and had this to say.

“Bosa is great, but seventh overall is too early. There are more young, impact edge rushers than there are reliable QBs. Buckner is a fine get at 58th, but Stidham under center is a major risk, as is protecting him with an unknown in Wills.”

This is all here say given the nature of the feature. But it would definitely leave more questions than answers. Picking two players that have barely played a down was a bold move from Newton. And one can only speculation he drew inspiration from Carolina’s decision-makers following a series of big decisions they pulled the trigger on this offseason.

Only time will tell as to whether the Panthers will be better off in 2020 and beyond. Head coach Matt Rhule has a solid reputation when it comes to rebuilding. And the organization has invested a significant amount of money in the hope he can continue this trend in the pros.

As for Newton, it might be best for the writer to stick to the day job and not pursue a possible general manager career in the future.