Panthers NFL Draft Pick Predictions & Odds | 2022 Draft Team Needs & Futures Bets
The Carolina Panthers’ 2021 season took an ugly turn after the first three games and never really brightened after that point, leading to an undeniably make-or-break season for head coach Matt Rhule in 2022.
The bad news for Rhule and Carolina fans in general is that it appears the team will head into April’s draft still in desperate need of an answer at the quarterback position, unless an unexpected trade comes to pass.
Most of the team’s 2021 troubles trace back to the play under center during a wild season that saw two one-time first-round picks, Sam Darnold and the returning Cam Newton, both mostly fail miserably at trying to provide the offense with any sense of continuity.
Perhaps realizing that significant improvement on offense may be hard to come by, the team doubled down on upgrading what was already one of the league’s best defenses in 2021. Free agency has seen the additions of linebackers Cory Littleton and Damien Wilson, while safety Xavier Woods was also brought aboard.
Panthers NFL Draft Picks 2022
- Round 1, Pick 6 (6th Overall)
- Round 4, Pick 32 (137th Overall, via LAR)
- Round 5, Pick 1 (144th Overall, via JAX)
- Round 5, Pick 6 (149th Overall)
- Round 6, Pick 20 (199th Overall, via LV)
- Round 7, Pick 21 (242nd Overall, via NE)
The good news for the Panthers is that they should certainly be able to land an impact player with their first-round selection. The bad news is they don’t go back on the clock until two days later, although they do have five selections in Rounds 4-7.
Whether they can effectively add more NFL-ready playmakers, especially on the offensive side, remains to be seen.
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Panthers Team Needs 2022
The Panthers are in the unenviable position of potentially having to reach a bit for a quarterback. This year’s draft won’t remind anyone of the 2021 edition in terms of NFL-ready quarterbacks, but Carolina should get a crack at one of the top two signal-callers at worst.
2. Offensive Line
Darnold and Newton were legitimately inept last season, but they admittedly didn’t get a lot of help from an offensive line that allowed the fifth-most sacks (52).
Given the state of the position, Carolina would likely be well advised to take the best player available at either guard or tackle at the time with at least two of their selections.
3. Wide Receiver
DJ Moore remains a clear-cut No. 1 receiver that could once again thrive with better quarterback play, but there are question marks behind him to varying degree beginning right with No. 2 wideout Robby Anderson, who is coming off a down year.
A later-round option with some upside in what is considered a deep receiver class would likely be a smart move.
Panthers May Also Consider Drafting: Defensive Tackle, Linebacker, Tight End
Panthers NFL Mock Draft Predictions 2022
- Round 1, Pick 6 (6th Overall): Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
- Round 4, Pick 32 (137th Overall): Tyler Smith, OT, Iowa
More Possible Panthers Draft Targets: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh; Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Panthers NFL Draft Bets 2022
Panthers to Draft a Quarterback in the First Round (Odds TBD)
While this wager isn’t available just yet, it’s one I would make. There’s no questioning the unparalleled importance of an elite signal-caller in today’s NFL, and the Panthers were an alarming testament to the dangers of going with patchwork solutions at the position.
All they can do at this point is decide whether they want to stake a claim on Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett, the two likely candidates at No. 6. I believe Willis and his enticing upside get the call up to the podium when the Panthers are on the clock early in Round 1.