Major trade with familiar faces in full 7-round Panthers 2021 mock draft

(Caitie McMekin-USA TODAY NETWORK) Josh Palmer
(Caitie McMekin-USA TODAY NETWORK) Josh Palmer /
2 of 9
Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Ron Rivera /

Carolina Panthers trade down from No. 8

An absolute bombshell to start the 2021 NFL Draft as the Carolina Panthers strike a deal with the Washington Football Team, who move up to No. 8 in order to take quarterback Trey Lance out of North Dakota State.

This would be a fantastic move for the future of the Panthers. They aren’t a player or two away from being a legitimate contender at the present time, so gaining more in the way of high-end draft capital over the next few years should provide some stability and even the chance to move up and acquire a signal-caller in 2022 if things don’t work out with Sam Darnold.

It makes a ton of sense upon further investigation. The last thing Carolina needs is a quarterback controversy and with Kyle Pitts, Penei Sewell, and Rashawn Slater off the board in this scenario, trading down for a superb ransom will stand them in enormously good stead moving forward.

Dealing with some former employees in Ron Rivera and Marty Hurney might be difficult. But the Panthers could have all the leverage here and can extract the maximum value knowing Washington is arguably a quarterback away from mounting a serious challenge for the Super Bowl over the next couple of seasons.

The deal is a win-win for all parties and the Panthers still get the chance to get a top prospect later on in the round.