Panthers full 7-round mock draft after Sam Darnold trade

(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: North Jersey) Sam Darnold /

Which way will the Carolina Panthers go with their 2021 NFL Draft selections now they have a new quarterback in Sam Darnold from the New York Jets?

Much has been made about the quarterback problems that surfaced within the Carolina Panthers in 2020. It was clear from very early on that Teddy Bridgewater was only going to get the team so far. But after failing to land Matthew Stafford and deciding not to make another bold bid to land Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans, the organization finally settled on trading for Sam Darnold for three draft picks over the next two years.

If this results in Darnold going through something of a renaissance, it will be worth its weight in gold. Should the former No. 3 overall selection fail to make the most out of this opportunity, it didn’t cost the Panthers much to find out what the signal-caller could actually do.

This is the only avenue they had left. They weren’t keen on moving up for a quarterback not named Trevor Lawrence or Zach Wilson, so considering their intentions regarding pursuing a potential upgrade on Bridgewater, this was the right way to go.

Carolina is expected to pick up Darnold’s fifth-year option, according to reports. This gives them two years to see just what the USC product can do with more in the way of weapons at his disposal. But whether offensive coordinator Joe Brady will be around for the duration is another matter entirely with a head coaching job in the offing sooner rather than later.

Darnold’s arrival has completely shifted the landscape of what Carolina might do in the draft. Using the Pro Football Focus simulator, we had a go ourselves in a full seven-round mock.