The Carolina Panthers possess the 6th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. As of this writing, they don’t pick again until the 4th round, at pick #106 overall. This means that their 1st-round selection will be instrumental in how they build their team going forward. They’re in a difficult spot. They have an owner (David Tepper) who wants to win now, and a coach (Matt Rhule) who may be on the hot seat if things don’t improve this year.
The Panthers began the 2021 NFL season 3-0 and finished the year 5-12. Half of those losses were by eight points or less, however, meaning that they might not be far off from contending. A couple shrewd free agent signings and a few impact draft picks, and the Panthers could be winning ten games next year and competing for a playoff spot. Their future is likely only that bright if they make a change at the quarterback position.
Sam Darnold wasn’t who the Jets were looking for and doesn’t appear to be what the Panthers are looking for either. Which is a shame, because Carolina shelled out three draft picks (a 2021 6th, a 2022 2nd, and a 2022 4th) to get him. The 2022 NFL Draft is a bit thin on quarterbacks. There aren’t many surefire top-of-the-line options available like there have been in past years.
Carolina Panthers: First Round 2022 NFL Draft Targets
This is both good and bad news for Carolina. It’s good because they’ll likely be able to get whoever they want at number six. It’s bad because quarterbacks taken in the 5-8 range and at No. 6 specifically have produced extremely mixed results. The Chargers’ Justin Herbert was the sixth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he’s one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. But the Giants also picked Daniel Jones at #6 in 2019, and despite their stubbornness and unwillingness to move on, he doesn’t seem like the solution in New York.
Barring something unusual happening, the Panthers should have their pick of quarterbacks at the sixth overall pick. And I have two of them on their list of first round targets. Let’s dive right in.