4 final thoughts ahead of the Carolina Panthers 2022 NFL Draft

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Here are some final thoughts ahead of what promises to be a fascinating 2022 NFL Draft for the Carolina Panthers relating to their chances next season.

All the talk, speculation, and constant rumors will soon come to an end as the 2022 NFL Draft gets underway this evening. It’s hard to comprehend how much the Carolina Panthers have riding on the three-day selection event, which could make or break their aspirations next season – the third under head coach Matt Rhule.

There is a need for an upgrade on Sam Darnold at quarterback. The Panthers also have a chance to finally select a franchise left tackle at No. 6 overall – something they haven’t had since Jordan Gross hung up his cleats.

Trading back cannot be ruled out and if a gifted edge rusher fell into their laps, then it might also tempt Carolina to deviate from their original plan. Scott Fitterer has given nothing away during his media availability, which only heightens anticipation with no pick on Day 2.

With one of the league’s biggest offseason dates just a few short hours away, here are four final thoughts for the Panthers’ draft in 2022.

Final Thought No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Kenny Pickett /

Carolina Panthers must not reach for a QB

This year’s quarterback class is not the most lauded in recent memory. Expecting miracles from any signal-caller emanating from the college ranks this year would be pushing things too much, which is why the Carolina Panthers cannot afford to reach for one that may not provide an instant upgrade on Sam Darnold.

If the Panthers like someone like Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis, then trade back. This would give them additional selections to spend on other problem positional groups providing there is interest from a willing suitor.

Matt Rhule enters the 2022 season with his job on the line, it’s that simple. Gambling this on a rookie under center might not be the best way to attain the major improvements needed.