Could the Carolina Panthers instigate bidding war for No. 33 overall?

A respected draft analyst believes there could be competition if the Carolina Panthers decide to trade down from No. 33 overall.
Dan Morgan and Dave Canales
Dan Morgan and Dave Canales / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

As the evaluation process enters its final days, the Carolina Panthers will shortly begin to finalize their board ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. Not having a first-round selection isn't ideal, but general manager Dan Morgan must make the best out of a bad situation in his quest to lay more stable foundations long-term.

Besides, the Panthers' pick to open Day 2 at No. 33 overall is just as good. This is a strong-looking draft class at the top end, so Morgan can either use the selection on a prospect Carolina's given a first-round grade or look to extract maximum value via the trade market.

Carolina Panthers could have strong market for pick No. 33

According to Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN - who projected a Panthers trade with the New York Giants for the No. 33 overall selection in his latest mock draft - competition could be high for the pick depending on what unfolds beforehand. Something that could enable Morgan to instigate a bidding war and get more than perceived value to assist the team's rebuild.

"In this projection, the Giants would send No. 47 -- which they got from Seattle in the Leonard Williams trade -- and their second-round pick in next year's draft to move up 14 spots.

"If that sounds a little steep, remember that there will be competition for this pick -- there's a lot of time for the Panthers to work the phones once Round 1 ends. New York has just six picks in this draft, so it can't afford to give up its third-rounder, which is why it would need to look to 2025. For Carolina, a team that isn't likely to contend this season and traded away what ended up being the No. 1 pick, getting an extra second-rounder next year would be huge."

This is dependent on which prospects are available and how many trades occur at the back end of Round No. 1. This is the stage where quarterback-needy teams tend to make a move, which gives them the luxury of a fifth-year option if their new signal-caller flourishes at the next level.

Morgan and other influential figures within the war room will be watching events unfold closely. After that, they'll get a lay of the land and no doubt see their phone start to ring with potential offers to move back.

Kiper is right. Time is on Carolina's side.

They've got a little less than 24 hours to bargain with interested parties about moving down. At the same time, Morgan and his staff need to get better. If someone they're particularly high on falls into their laps without trading up into the first, a situation could emerge where the Panthers resist all inquiries and take the best prospect available on their board.

It's not a bad spot to be in. There's added pressure on Morgan to get his seven selections right after the Panthers gave up the No. 1 overall selection following their trade-up for Bryce Young in 2023. He's also keen to install a more traditional method of roster construction that centers on building through the draft and supplementing any remaining needs in free agency.

The most important thing from Morgan's perspective is commanding the war room and striking with conviction. There were too many cooks with differing opinions last time around, so the new front-office supremo must lead by example through sound decision-making and an assertive yet collaborative manner.

It won't be easy, but Morgan has a chance to firmly establish himself and continue winning his skeptics over. If trading down from No. 33 is part of the plan, fans need to trust his approach.

For now, at least…