Late buzz reveals potential Carolina Panthers 2024 NFL Draft curveball

This would be a twist...
Dave Canales
Dave Canales / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

All the talk has centered on what the Carolina Panthers could do to help Bryce Young during the 2024 NFL Draft. The quarterback went through some significant complications as a rookie, although there were plenty of mitigating factors in play. They made a substantial investment in the signal-caller, so making it work is of paramount importance.

The Panthers made a strong start to this quest by signing Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis to be their starting offensive guard tandem. Those in power pulled off a trade for wide receiver Diontae Johnson, who comes into the franchise looking to silence his doubters after leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers under a cloud.

Expect the Panthers to further address this during the draft. Getting another explosive wide receiver should be high on their list of priorities. Adding a pass-catching tight end who could help immediately would be another big boost for Young in pursuit of bouncing back when competitive action arrives once again.

Carolina Panthers could draft a quarterback on Day 3

While this is still Young's team until further notice, Joe Person of The Athletic revealed some recent buzz about the Panthers potentially drafting another quarterback this year if the right opportunity presents itself. Dave Canales wants three capable signal-callers on the roster heading into the preparation period. If the Panthers can find one, it will provide them with a long-term development project and insurance policy should the Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama fail to meet expectations.

"A month after Dave Canales indicated at the owners’ meetings the Panthers would keep three quarterbacks, we’ve heard some buzz that Canales and general manager Dan Morgan could take one during the draft. Even after going all-in to draft Bryce Young at No. 1 a year ago, adding another quarterback in the draft makes sense for a couple of reasons.

"Veteran backup Andy Dalton is in the final year of his contract. Both Canales and Morgan were in Seattle with GM John Schneider, who got his start in Green Bay under Ron Wolf. The former Packers GM once took quarterbacks in seven of eight drafts, despite having some guy named [Brett] Favre as the starter. Only one of those quarterbacks was drafted higher than the fifth round — Aaron Brooks in 1999. Given the Panthers’ other needs, it seems unlikely Morgan would take a QB until the third day of the draft, if he takes one at all."

This won't put Young's job prospects in jeopardy by any stretch of the imagination. It'll cause a stir if Carolina goes in this direction, but the goal remains to do everything possible to put the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft on a better trajectory. A Day 3 or even undrafted free-agent quarterback doesn't change that fact.

Whether this is something the Panthers genuinely contemplate when push comes to shove is debatable. They need to fill holes and improve depth without a first-round pick. Drafting a No. 3 quarterback wouldn't seem to be high on their list of needs, so picking one up once the selection process concludes seems like the most realistic avenue of pursuit.

It's another wrinkle to what promises to be a fascinating draft for the Panthers. Dan Morgan's made a good start to his roster revamp, but the hard work's just getting started. A strong recruiting class in 2024 would be another solid foundation from which to build as part of his long-term plans for contention.

Adding a quarterback seems like a wasted pick this year given the presence of Young and Andy Dalton. But if Morgan feels like it's the best thing to do depending on how things play out, he won't hesitate.

The plot thickens…