Panthers draft rumors: Justin Fields, Kyle Pitts, Asante Samuel Jr., move down

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Justin Fields
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Justin Fields /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Fields /

Carolina Panthers “intrigued” by Justin Fields

The trade for Sam Darnold from the New York Jets makes it even more intriguing to see what the Carolina Panthers are going to do with the No. 8 overall selection. There are a multitude of different ways they could go – which wasn’t the case before considering their desire to get an upgrade on Teddy Bridgewater – but they have also not ruled out the prospect of taking a signal-caller if they think it will benefit the franchise moving forward.

This might be highly unlikely and a clear vote of no confidence in Darnold. But according to Joe Person of The Athletic, Carolina remains “intrigued” by Justin Fields and would have a big decision to make if he was still on the board at No. 8.

There isn’t a player entering the league this year that has received more unfair criticism than Fields, who has an untold amount of proven production at Ohio State for scouts to call upon. However, that hasn’t stopped analysts picking him apart to a degree that hasn’t been evident with Trevor Lawrence or Zach Wilson – who are both expected to go in the first two picks.

What the San Francisco 49ers plan to do with the third selection will have huge ramifications on Fields, who has worked out in front of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch recently, but there is growing speculation that Alabama’s Mac Jones will be their guy.

Whether this is a smokescreen from the Panthers in a bid to get more in the way of draft capital with a trade dow is up for debate. But general manager Scott Fitterer is keen to go with the best player available and if that means Fields, then he might just pull the trigger despite the obvious needs elsewhere.