Which 2023 NFL Draft prospects could the Carolina Panthers target with the No. 9 overall selection if the top quarterbacks are all off the board?
First and foremost, please hear me when I say – I want the Carolina Panthers to do whatever they must in pursuit of securing their franchise quarterback moving forward. However, just because you want something, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have the opportunity to get it.
That brings us to the elephant in the room – what happens if the Panthers can’t draft the quarterback prospect they covet this year?
There are a handful of scenarios in which the top-four prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft could be off the board for Carolina before they’re on the clock. Whether it’s other teams having traded up to select in front of the Panthers, or the front office and new coaching staff preferring to retain all the capital to fill multiple holes on the roster instead of packaging picks to grab a signal caller.
Fans should take into consideration the real possibility that if every team just stays where they are in the draft order, they might be out of luck.
Much will depend on moves made in free agency and through the trade market. There is plenty of chatter about Aaron Rodgers emerging from his physical and mental darkness to land with the Las Vegas Raiders to reunite with Davante Adams. Derek Carr is still doing his free-agent rounds, as well.
The Panthers will need one of the teams in front of them to feel strongly enough about their quarterback room before April’s draft. But they won’t be sitting on their hands and waiting to see what comes to them, either.
Imagining none of those scenarios prove true, let’s examine the best potential non-quarterback prospects the Panthers could land with their first-round pick in 2023.