Updated: Mar 4
On Friday, March 3rd, Third Down Thursday interviewed Carolina Panthers beat writer Sheena Quick at radio row. She offered her takes on the current problems Carolina has to deal with and the state of the organization.
The big question for Carolina is, what does Carolina do at Quarterback? As of right now, they are weighing their options. Whether it’s signing a veteran free agent or drafting a quarterback, Sheena Quick predicted the Panthers would trade up (currently, they sit at the ninth overall pick). The challenge of them trading up for a quarterback is the majority of teams ahead of them need a quarterback. Those teams are the Houston Texans (#2), the Arizona Cardinals (#3), the Indianapolis Colts(#4), and the Las Vegas Raiders (#7).
Carolina is in a situation where they have to draft a quarterback. If they don’t like the quarterbacks who are under contract are Matt Corral and Jacob Eason. With Corral, no one knows what his skill sets are at the NFL level as for Eason, nobody knows anything about him.
The team seems to be in talks with Sam Darnold about resigning as their bridge quarterback. If Darnold does get signed back any rookie quarterback is looking at Carolina as more desirable because the organization doesn’t have to throw their rookie to the wolves. Anthony Richardson has been compared to Cam Newton. Carolina’s scheming fits a dual-threat quarterback better than a pocket passer.
The South is arguably the worst division in the NFL. If you look at the quarterbacks for each team (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and New Orleans Saints), it’s not good by any stretch. For example, if the Bucs don’t sign a veteran quarterback, they have Kyle Trask as their starter. Carolina has been hitting home runs with these coaching hires.
What Carolina has to do to Succeed?
Sheena Quick stated, “The only position that can do that right now is quarterback…..that’s the only really viable position they really need”. After that, they must resign D’Onta Foreman, Bradley Bozeman, and other players. Because when Steve Wilks was coaching, Foreman carried them in some games. Bozeman changed the way that offensive line played.
The Panthers are just a quarterback away. The Panthers could add a couple more pass catchers and another corner. However, Carolina hasn’t had stability at the quarterback position since Cam Newton got released the first time, it’s been a carousel ever since. Signing Sam Darnold for insurance wouldn’t hurt (especially after last season's quarterback injuries) for Carolina. Nevertheless, Carolina must draft a quarterback with the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.