The Miami Dolphins made two trades Friday that shook up the top-12 picks in the 2021 NFL draft.
For the Carolina Panthers, finding a quarterback for the long-term has become a clear goal of the offseason. With free-agent options always limited and the Deshaun Watson situation put on hold due to sexual assault allegations, this year’s draft could be the most logical solution.
But with the San Francisco 49ers taking control of the No. 3 pick, it has become increasingly evident that quarterbacks will be selected with the first three picks of the draft, and perhaps even the top .
The general overall reaction at first was that this was bad news for the Panthers. Surely now the team will miss out on the top quarterbacks if they wait until their pick at No. 8.
But there are still plenty of options for the Panthers. Teddy Bridgewater remains on the roster, and while he is still not a long-term solution, he provides flexibility. There are other trade possibilities outside of Watson. Quarterbacks like Sam Darnold or Jimmy Garoppolo aren’t necessarily major upgrades, which makes them less likely candidates, but could be considered.
Trading up is still an option, although it is now less likely. Trading back is also on the table, especially considering new general manager Scott Fitterer’s history in Seattle of making more picks out of picks.
With the way things are shaping up, however, there will also be an opportunity to get a strong player at No. 8. Let’s look at certain scenarios based on the players teams are expected to pick with a month to go until the draft.