Just about everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the Carolina Panthers and second-year General Manager Scott Fitterer in 2022.
The Panthers got off to a horrendous start to the season and eventual fired head coach Matt Rhule.
They later traded franchise centerpiece Christian McCaffrey in the first step toward rebuilding.
Ultimately, interim head coach Steve Wilks probably proved to be too good at his job. Carolina finished the season with a 7-10 record and the No. 9 pick in the NFL Draft.
Wilks was later replaced by former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich who is hoping to keep things moving in the right direction.
Panthers Trade With Chicago Bears For No. 1 Overall Pick In NFL Draft
The Panthers took a huge step toward doing that on Friday afternoon.
Major draft shakeup 🚨 🚨 🚨
Sources say the #Bears are trading the No. 1 overall pick to the #Panthers in exchange for big-time compensation including multiple 1st rounders. Chicago loads up and lands at No. 9, while Carolina can draft its QB of the future. pic.twitter.com/DNvYMStoxd
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2023
NFL Networks Ian Rapoport reported that Carolina has made a trade with the Chicago Bears to acquire the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter lated reported the full compensation package headed to Chicago. In addition to the No. 9 pick in this year’s draft, the Bears received a second round pick this year, a first round pick in 2024, a second in 2025 and star wide receiver DJ Moore.
Compensation update, per sources: Bears trading No. 1 overall pick to Carolina for:
🏈pick No. 9
🏈pick No. 61
🏈a first-round pick in 2024
🏈a second-round pick in 2025
🏈WR DJ Moore pic.twitter.com/hHrHn1UIR2
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2023
The Panthers are expected to use the pick to acquire what they hope is their future franchise quarterback.
Among the options for that pick are presumably Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
Young and Stroud had the most successful college careers of the group, and the former reportedly blew teams away in the interview process.
But don’t rule out Richardson or Levis.
Both have immense physical tools. Levis has perhaps the strongest arm of any quarterback in the draft. While Richardson blew away scouts with absolutely jaw-dropping combine numbers.
There’s still more than a month toward the NFL Draft and the Panthers could certainly change course. But you’d imagine they don’t make this move without a specific player in mind.