4 key steps to a perfect Carolina Panthers draft in 2022

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Scott Fitterer
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Scott Fitterer /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Charles Cross /

Carolina Panthers must find an instant game-changer at No. 6

For all the talk of the Carolina Panthers selecting a quarterback at No. 6 overall, it would be an absolute bombshell. This year’s class comes with some serious concerns and although some have been unfairly criticized, it’s unlikely most will become Day 1 starters based on projections and what we’ve seen at the college level.

This is not good news for Matt Rhule, who can ill-afford to put his job in the hands of a rookie that isn’t anywhere near ready. Sam Darnold has shown nothing to suggest he’s anything more than a lost cause at this point, which only complicates matters for a team in desperate need of a better plan under center.

However, finding someone that can become an instant game-changer at No. 6 overall is the best decision Carolina can make. This can be done by selecting any of the consensus top-three offensive tackles, who could fill a problem position right away and finally give the Panthers an assured blindside presence they’ve lacked since Jordan Gross retired.

Considering the interest in edge rushers atop the draft, one or more of Evan Neal, Charles Cross, and Ikem Ekwonu should be there for the taking. Simply put, the Panthers must not look a gift horse in the mouth.

Someone like Malik Willis is the sexier pick and could bear fruit in the long run. But time is a luxury Rhule doesn’t have and finally solidifying the left tackle spot should be preferred.