8 prospects the Carolina Panthers must consider trading up for on Day 2

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Malik Willis
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Malik Willis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Bailey Zappe /

Carolina Panthers could target Bailey Zappe

  • Quarterback | Western Kentucky

The Carolina Panthers are still looking for a quarterback. Whether not taking one at No. 6 overall means that the organization will now begin exploring veteran trade options such as Baker Mayfield is unclear, but they might also look to move up and select a project to eventually come in and hopefully become a productive starter.

Sam Darnold simply didn’t do enough to convince anybody he was worthy of another opportunity to start in 2022. The signal-caller went through his usual complications and was often flustered behind a dismal offensive line, which meant general manager Scott Fitterer had no option other than to sit down with the USC product this week and state that competition was coming.

As expected, a few quarterbacks fell out of the first round. This was not considered to be the most lauded class during the evaluation process, but it would be a huge shock if some ended up sliding early on Day 2 given that it is much less of a risk to take them here than in Round No. 1.

One name that might be waiting a little while longer is Bailey Zappe, who met with the Panthers during their exhausting assessments. His football career has been littered with record-breaking achievements and although it might not happen right away, a successful career at the next level could well be in the offing with a little more refinement.

Zappe has an NFL-ready arm and is a sound decision-maker. His athleticism might not be ultra-high, but there is an underrated quickness to his game that was on full display at the 2022 Senior Bowl.

If Zappe starts sliding in Day 3, then that might be enough for Carolina to make its move.