The Carolina Panthers are entering draft scouting till the draft in April. Carolina is ninth in the draft order by having a 7-10 record at the end of the regular season, below the Atlanta Falcons and just above the Philadelphia Eagles via trade with the New Orleans Saints. What should Carolina do with the Ninth Overall Pick?
QB magically falls to Nine
This is just a hypothetical scenario. If a guy like C.J. Stroud fell to number nine the Panthers could draft without having to move and giving up a lot. If that does happen Stroud and Corral would probably battle it out during Mini camps and preseason.
Trading Up or Down
The Panthers could also do this option. It is more likely to happen because a guy like Stroud or Bryce Young wouldn’t fall that far. If the Panthers were to trade down, it would probably be into the mid-round, which would mean they would trade with the New England, Green Bay Packers, or Washington Commanders, who sit at the 14th,15th, and 16th overall picks.
Now, if Carolina was to trade up with a team like the Arizona Cardinals or Indianapolis Colts who sit at the third and fourth overall picks. It would cost the Panthers more, they would likely be giving up one or two first-round draft picks. Whereas trading down they could have an increased chance to gain picks to use in the later rounds or possibly, especially with a team that is desperate for a quarterback.
Addressing Other Roster Needs with the Ninth Overall Pick
The Panthers could address other roster needs than quarterback. These needs could be a cornerback like Joey Porter Jr out of Penn State to compliment Jaycee Horn or adding a pass-rusher like Will Anderson Jr. out of Alabama to help out Brian Burns on the defensive line. Carolina could also draft Jalin Hyatt out of Tennesee who would be a great compliment to receiving core with DJ Moore and Terrace Marshall Jr.
What would be the smartest way to use that Ninth Overall Pick?
Carolina should stay at the ninth overall pick and grab a QB like Stroud or Young if one of them ends up magically falling to ninth. The Panthers shouldn’t get too antsy and trade up multiple first-rounders. If Stroud or Young aren't available at nine, they should draft either Anderson or Porter. If none of those guys are available Carolina could trade down with a team like the Washington Commanders and draft a guy like Jalin Hyatt out of Tennesee at that 16th spot.