2020 NFL Draft: Trade-up targets for the Carolina Panthers

Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images /
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Antoine Winfield Jr. 2020 NFL Draft
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images /

Taking a look at some possible trade-up targets for the Carolina Panthers in rounds two-four in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Carolina Panthers are likely staying put at seven overall, however, there are some possible trade-up targets on day two and three that they can pursue. I already went over what positions Carolina could target in my complete 7-round team mock draft. Here I’ll list some prospects that could fill those needs via a trade-up.

Matt Rhule is off to a hot start moving on from Cam Newton and reuniting Teddy Bridgewater with new offensive coordinator Joe Brady. He also traded five-time Pro Bowler Trai Turner for Russell Okung.

Despite some negative thoughts on the trade, the Panthers did upgrade the left tackle position. It will be interesting to see what Carolina does on the interior line. They do have John Miller who figures to start at right guard with Taylor Moton sticking at right tackle, or they could get creative.

Greg Little was selected in the second round last season and could be the future at left tackle for the Carolina Panthers. What if they moved either Little or Moton inside and played the other at right tackle? They could still move up in the later rounds in the draft for a true interior lineman. Greg Van Roten moved on in free agency and they need to fill his loss also.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Carolina Panthers moved on from safety Eric Reid, who wasn’t great for them last year but it still leaves a hole at safety. They did agree to a three-year deal to bring back Tre Boston, however. Leaving another hole in the secondary was cornerback James Bradberry agreeing to a monster deal with the Giants. Bradberry did a very good job in Carolina, but his price was too rich for the Panthers.

For this post, I separated each target by the rounds that they are to be projected at. I ran three different simulations using The Draft Network’s mock draft machine to see where prospects would land that the Carolina Panthers could be interested in.  So, without further ado here are some trade-up targets for the Carolina Panthers.

Round Two:

1. Noah Igbinoghene, Cornerback, Auburn

Noah Igbinoghene is a very interesting prospect. He has risen up draft boards and cornerback rankings, despite not having much experience at defensive back. Through high school and his first season at Auburn, Igbinoghene played receiver. It wasn’t until the 2018 season where he made the switch to cornerback.

He played in 13 games and started nine at cornerback where he recorded 50 tackles with one interception and 11 passes defended. In his final season at Auburn, Igbinoghene had 48 tackles and seven pass breakups.

The Carolina Panthers are in need of a starting cornerback after losing Bradberry in free agency. Igbinoghene would be a solid replacement as he has the strength and physicality to compete with bigger receivers in the NFL. He also has the speed and athleticism to stick with speed receivers from the slot or out on the boundaries. He excels in press coverage having great success in knocking receivers off their routes.

If the Carolina Panthers want Igbinoghene, they may need to trade back into the bottom of the first round as his stock continues to rise.

2. Antoine Winfield Jr., Safety, Minnesota

The Carolina Panthers need help all over their secondary and Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr. can do it all. He’s interchangeable, meaning he can play both safety spots at a high level. He can hold his own in coverage and still be a game wrecker in defending the run. With the talent at tight end in the NFC South, they’ll need a guy that can take away a big weapon for the opposition and Winfield Jr. has that ability.

The big issue with trading up for Antoine Winfield is the fact that nobody truly knows where he could land. I personally have him ranked above Xavier McKinney as my number one rated safety which could put him in the conversion to be taken in the first. If he falls to the top of the second, the Carolina Panthers could make a small jump to land him.