Panthers Trading Up In 2020 Draft To Pick Joe Burrow?
Are the Panthers trading up in the 2020 Draft to pick Joe Burrow?
Carolina currently finds itself in the midst of a major reset.
Everything began with the firing of former head coach Ron Rivera midseason.
It continued with the hiring of former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule as Rivera’s replacement and LSU offensive guru Joe Brady as his offensive coordinator.
Now comes the next step: swapping the old guard of players like Luke Kuechly, Greg Olsen and Cam Newton with a new batch of stars.
Obviously unlike the other two aforementioned players, Newton is still currently on the roster – but it remains to be seen how long that will be true for.
Last month, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Panthers were planning on letting the former MVP heal up from the injury that sidelined him this year and then trading him.
If that happens, Carolina will need a new starting quarterback. Neither Kyle Allen nor Will Grier are long-term solutions.
One possible long-term solution? Burrow.
The Heisman-winning LSU star is extremely familiar with Carolina’s new offensive coordinator in Brady. He also has the precise level of poise and talent necessary to be a cornerstone quarterback for a team trying to return to the Super Bowl.
Last year, en route to winning the Tigers their first National Championship since 2007, he threw for a remarkable 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns.
Burrow is widely expected to go with the first overall selection in the looming draft. That pick currently belongs to the Cincinnati Bengals.
If the Panthers want Burrow, they will need to trade up to get him.
The good news is, there appears to be some friction between the Bengals and the presumed top overall pick.
Recently, Burrow showed a certain lack of enthusiasm when asked about playing for Cincinnati next season.
“Look, this is a long process, right?” he said.
“[The Bengals] have their process that they have to go through, and I am so blessed to be in the position I’m in. If they select me, they select me, I’m going to do everything in my power to be the best football player I can be.”
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) February 20, 2020
This past week, NFL Network insider Daniel Jeremiah came out and suggested fans keep an eye on the situation unfolding between Burrow and the Bengals.
“Before this story started to circulate and you saw the conversation the other day where he didn’t flat out say ‘yes I want to be a Cincinnati Bengal’ those teams are keeping an eye on this situation,” he said.
“Because maybe there is an opportunity, if this takes place behind closed doors that he doesn’t want to go to Cincinnati, maybe there is a trade up opportunity for those three teams (Miami, Los Angeles, Carolina).
“And obviously team No. 7, where Joe Brady is the offensive coordinator, his former offensive coordinator at LSU now with the Carolina Panthers, you better believe they’re tracking this situation to see how this thing unfolds.”
The big question here is how the Bengals feel Burrow’s talent level stacks up to that of Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon’s Justin Herbert or Utah State’s Jordan Love.
If they feel it is comparable, they may be more open to trading away the top selection to someone like Carolina in return for a similarly high pick and assets. If not – then this is all moot.
With the NFL Draft officially just one month away, the picture will start to become clearer regarding where everyone stands and who is simply putting up smoke screens to mask their real intentions.
Do the Panthers badly want someone like Burrow to be their next franchise quarterback? Of course. That much is obvious.
Will they ultimately be able to get him when everything is said and done? That remains to be seen.
The NFL Draft is set to commence on Thursday, April 23 and then run all the way through Saturday, April 25.