6) Despite picking in the sixth spot, the Panthers might be in a tough position. Carolina could miss out on both of the top tackle prospects — “a screaming need” for the Panthers, per Jeremiah — and the Panthers still need another option at quarterback. Sixth overall seems too high to take any of the signal-callers in this class, but it’s not going to be easy for any team to trade down from the upper portion of the first round.
“To me, if one of the top two guys gets to Carolina, slam-dunk pick. You just take the tackle, you plug him and play him and you move on,” Jeremiah said. “I think, in their perfect world, they’d probably be able to get out of six. Get some extra picks. They don’t pick in Round 2 or 3. So, to give them themselves some more shots at it, I think that would be the best outcome.
“I just don’t know that you’re going to find a trade partner, so if you’re stuck there, if you can get one of those top two tackles, I would do it. If those guys are off the board, I can see them taking Cross — it’s a big need — and some teams are really really high on him, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he went there. just take the best available.”
7) The Panthers might also be the most likely team to restart the quarterback carousel, which has gone dormant for much of the last month following Indianapolis’ trade for Matt Ryan. Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo remain available, but Carolina hasn’t raced to the phone to work out a deal — yet.
“You kind of look at where you are. I was talking to a GM this morning, he was making the case that you look at Carolina’s options, he thought that Baker Mayfield was probably the most attractive of all the different options that they would have ,” Jeremiah said, adding the GM wasn’t Cleveland’s Andrew Berry. “Whether it’s in this draft or going the veteran route. … But that one kind of makes some sense there.
“My thing on this quarterback class, I think there are some good players here, but I just have the thought that keeps coming back in the back of my mind that what you don’t want to do is take a quarterback this year, and then a year from now at this time be saying, ‘Oh my goodness, we are right back in the quarterback market again.’ You know, is this guy really good enough? That kind of lingers in my head when these teams are forced to make this decision. Whether to go with one or to wait.
“All these teams have done a good job one way or the other having options on campus currently. You know, inside their organization, they’ve got guys who can line up and play that have experience. So, I don’t think they ‘re going to be forced to take one of these guys. It’s a really fascinating discussion when you look at this class and where these guys could go.”
8) With trades still on the brain, don’t expect to see a lot of movement in the first half of the first round. Without top quarterback talent available, teams won’t feel as pressed to move up. Add in quality depth at a number of other positions and you’ll see teams waiting to see how the draft unfolds before making their decisions.
Things could get interesting later Thursday night. With the inclusion of a fifth-year option on all first-round picks, clubs might feel more comfortable with moving back into the latter half of the first round to take a risk on a quarterback with plenty of upside included, thanks to the team control offered by a first-rounder’s rookie deal.
“I think for all the potential inaction up at the top of the draft, I think we could see a lot of action towards the bottom, especially as it pertains to the quarterbacks,” Jeremiah said. “I think that’s where the value is. If you can get back in, get the fifth year, you know, take a flier on one of these guys. I think we could see some action there and see some movement there.”