3 potential partners if Panthers want to trade up from No. 8

(David Platt/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports) Trevor Lawrence
(David Platt/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports) Trevor Lawrence /
1 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson /

Which teams could become willing trade partners if the Carolina Panthers want to move up from No. 8 overall?

It promises to be an immensely intriguing few weeks for everybody associated with the Carolina Panthers. The rumor mill is buzzing with potential new players strengthening the roster in free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft. There is also plenty of uncertainty surrounding established members of the roster despite the organization releasing Kawann Short, Stephen Weatherly, and Tre Boston to free-up some additional finances in the current climate.

The Deshaun Watson speculation isn’t going away anytime soon, although the Houston Texans appear reluctant to move their franchise player despite his clear unhappiness with team owner Cal McNair. It’s going to take an astronomical figure to bring the former Clemson star back to the Carolinas this offseason, with many being put up by the reported asking price of multiple first-rounders and a couple of talented players thrown in for good measure.

If the Panthers eventually decide not to pull the trigger despite the obvious temptation and interest, then they might be left with no option other than to look at the incoming batch of college recruits to get their desired upgrade on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Considering how aggressive Carolina has been trying to bring in a veteran, making another bold move to trade up and land one of the top prospects is not out of the realm of possibility. Watson remains the ultimate – albeit ambitious – goal. But this is something that will be discussed if they strike out on a signal-caller before the draft weekend.

With this in mind, here are three potential candidates if the Panthers want to make a bold move up the draft board this spring.