Reasons why the Carolina Panthers have already won blockbuster draft trade

Scott Fitterer
Scott Fitterer / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have traded up to No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Here’s why fans should consider this a major win.

It’s finally official. The Carolina Panthers now hold the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s rendition of the NFL Draft.

The compensation was a 2023 first-round pick swap, a 2024 first-rounder, a 2025 second-round pick, the No. 61 overall selection, and budding wide receiver D.J. Moore. Ever since the news broke, fans have been split on whether or not the Panthers or Chicago Bears won this trade.

For starters, the Bears made it clear from the jump that they would be shopping that pick around the league. Luckily for Frank Reich’s crew, they had just the right capital and player that Chicago wanted.

There were many suitors for the top pick. Specifically, the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, who the Panthers successfully outbid.

No doubt, the difference between Carolina's package and theirs was the inclusion of a player like Moore. Besides this loss, there are reasons the Panthers have already won the trade.

Carolina Panthers only gave up one first-round pick

Before the trade went down, it was speculated that a trade up to No. 1 overall would cost teams north of three first-round picks. The Panthers were able to swap first-round picks with the Bears this year while only giving up a first-rounder in 2024. 

This is great for a Panthers squad that is looking to be picking in the latter part of each round for the next few seasons. The rationale behind being willing to part ways with the first-round pick is that the team has a lot of young talent and can fill any holes by signing veterans.

The best teams attract top-flight free agents. That should be the plan moving forward for the Panthers.

Carolina Panthers kept the defensive core in tact

The Bears need defensive talent just as badly as they needed some help at wide receiver. With the Panthers having a plethora of young star players on defense, it is rumored that they asked for Brian Burns, Jaycee Horn, or Moore.

Moore is one of the best young receivers in the game. But he can be replaced by either signing free agents or drafting a top-flight wideout at No. 39 overall.

The team still has a second-round pick this year and next. They should be able to add talent in a wide receiver room that already boasts Adam Thielen, Terrace Marshall Jr., and Laviska Shenault Jr.

Luckily, the Panthers won't have to scramble to try and find a replacement for one of the premier pass rushers in Burns or a true lockdown corner in Horn.

With the additions of Shy Tuttle and DeShawn Williams, the re-signing of Henry Anderson, and the contract restructures of Donte Jackson and Shaq Thompson, it's clear that this new regime will keep this defense strong and intact moving forward.

Carolina Panthers will finally have stability at quarterback

The best win of the trade is that Carolina has their pick of which quarterback they want. Whether that be Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, or a surprising selection in Anthony Richardson, the team won’t have to cycle through retreads and will be able to stick with their guy.

It may seem like a lot to give up at first glance. But without a franchise quarterback, a team doesn’t have a franchise. 

In today's NFL, the cost of doing business is either a bunch of losses, a trade, a lot of cap space, draft capital, or a combination of all.

The price paid was steep, but for the Panthers it was absolutely necessary.

Next. 4 teams where Cam Newton could legitimately start in 2023. dark