Despite possessing one of the league’s greatest needs at the top position, the Carolina Panthers remain in a holding pattern after an NFL offseason of whirlwind quarterback changes. So, with the 2022 NFL Draft approaching, it’s no surprise that Carolina is looking closely at the new QB crop.
Liberty QB Malik Willis and Ole Miss QB Matt Corral are both set to visit the Panthers on Tuesday, NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reported. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Monday that Carolina also plans to hold a meeting with Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder. All three prospects have been popular draft candidates for quarterback needy teams in the first round. Carolina met UNC’s Sam Howell and Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe on Monday and is also expected to meet Pitt’s Kenny Pickett this week.
The Panthers were in a similar position last offseason when they traded three draft picks to the Jets for QB Sam Darnold. Darnold played much as he had in the first three years of his career, showing flashes of quality starting potential but ultimately falling short. The former No. 3 overall pick threw seven touchdowns to 11 interceptions, adding five rushing scores in nine games before Carolina signed a familiar face in a bid to add a spark.
Cam Newton joined the team on a one-year deal and started five games between weeks 11-15 – all losses – before handing the job over to Darnold to end the season.
With Newton no longer on the roster and Darnold all but guaranteed to remain as a lame duck thanks to an $18.5 million cap, the Panthers look destined to solve their quarterback conundrum through the draft this time around. -this.
If Carolina determines that one of the incoming rookies is capable of turning a franchise with four straight losing seasons, it will have to make that decision with the No. 6 overall pick. The Panthers currently don’t have a second opportunity to add more talent until the fourth round.