Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers looking to trade up? Looks like it.

carolina panthers christian mccaffrey

When the Carolina Panthers traded Kony Ealy and a third round selection to the New England Patriots there was a bit of head scratching going on. Kony Ealy was far from an elite player, but at worst he was a serviceable backup. To trade a him to the Patriots and in turn move up only 8 spots in the draft didn’t make sense at first glance. Not when the Panthers are already thin at defensive end, even with the recent addition of Julius Peppers.

Then it occurred to me. This is not simply about moving up eight places. This could be about packaging two second round picks and moving up into the first round.

If you take a look at the 2017 Drafttek value chart, packaging the Carolina Panthers’ 40th and 64th picks could be enough value to move up to around pick 24 in the first round. If the Panthers sweeten the pot a little more, it is conceivable they move up ever further.

carolina panthers

Seems plausible right?

Now follow me down this rabbit hole a little further. Who would the Carolina Panthers be targeting with such an aggressive move?

One possibility: With the 24th pick in the NFL draft the Carolina Panthers could possibly land running back Christian McCaffrey. As an elite level player,  McCaffrey could impact the Panthers offense immediately and for many years to come. He would be an immediate upgrade over current roster counterpart Fozzy Whitaker. As an added bonus, McCaffrey could also fill in as a much needed slot receiver for the Panthers. In a sense, McCaffrey is two players in one within the Panthers system. Win-win-win.

Of course, this is mostly (or all) speculation on my part. But you cannot deny that dealing Kony Ealy to move up only 8 spots in the draft makes zero sense unless you put it in the context of packaging draft picks and moving up into the first round. It just so happens that doing so would land the Panthers where a player like McCaffrey may be waiting.



  1. Jeremy Church

    March 11, 2017 at 10:12 am

    So then who do they draft with the 8 pick if they package the two 2nd round picks?

    • Mark

      March 11, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Defensive End

    • Chris

      March 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      I think we should go fornette with the 8th pick and then get back in the first to draft OJ Howard.

      • Grok

        March 12, 2017 at 11:56 pm

        This is what I would love.

  2. David

    March 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Dude. Igo not bashing you with these comments just saying the truth. Awesome job writing on this topic. Panther fans are all over the place on this. Me being one I am ecstatic and see it just like you. I am pissed we let Ted ginn go but I guess u can’t do everything…we have him and offer…no details yet but it could. It have been much worse than saints. So teddy showed us what it is about for him after he promised all of us it was not about money. He has sucked everywhere but here. Oh well it is done and we are moving on. We have such an opportunity now in the draft and I 100% agree that the ealy thing was all about the draft in some way. 2nd round sounds better than 3rd round no matter the actual pick number. So happy and excited!!! Pep and Cap are back!! Love it.

    • William A Burnett

      March 11, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      Get a DE then get Fournette or McCafery for sure he is a Whole other Specimen

  3. Barone

    March 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I had a feeling that they were doing so in order to get in position for trade up. I kind of thought they’d get John Ross wherever he’s worth it(I personally like him, but I’m certainly no scout). Or maybe it’s for any of the number of solid running backs that could be 1st or 2nd rounders. They could always just select the talent at their designated draft spots as well I guess. This is such a potentially exciting draft.

    • Jpapi72

      March 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      D end in first round no doubt trade up for running back or they will still be good backs there in the second round Jon Ross if he still there

    • Richardsonblue

      March 13, 2017 at 10:53 am

      I totally agree.

  4. Jpapi72

    March 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    D end in first round no doubt trade up for running back or they will still be good backs there in the second round Jon Ross if he still there

  5. Jpapi72

    March 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Has the field goal / extra point situation been solved?

  6. jason barber

    March 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    dude it will never happen they don’t want mccaffrey after the bust tyler Gaffney was

    • William A Burnett

      March 12, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      Christian is a whole nother specimen than Gafney but we will see simply just big talk as of now

  7. Terry waddell

    March 12, 2017 at 11:23 am

    We need to draft a running backs 1st get Gaffney and Fournette put fozzy sorry self on the side line.

  8. chris

    March 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Definitely a draft strategy involved. I sort of think they are going to trade back, to add some picks. Then Gettleman is going turn things around to get who he has on his boards ( not anybody else’s) Thomas, Fournette, Peppers, Howard, Allen really nobody knows what G-Man is thinking….

  9. Jake Delhomme

    March 12, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Why trade a player and switch a 3rd round pick for a 2nd round pick if you were then going to attempt to get more picks? Let’s trade our two 2nd round picks for three 3rd round picks! How about we trade all picks 1-5 and get 10 7th round picks? Let’s take our two 2nd round picks and try to trade them for another 1st round pick. Okay, the 1st round pick they’d get would probably be near the end of the first round, right? Who would be available at the end of the 1st round that would catch the Panthers attention? According to this article, you’d be looking at moving up 13-17 spots. 40th to 23rd-27th… Is there a certain player that will be available at that pick that would not be available at 40th? Or would there not be a similar player available? Now, what if they were looking to trade the 1st and one of the second round pick, to move up to a higher first round pick? Then they’d go for Myles Garret and with their remaining 2nd round pick, take a RB. What would a defensive minded coach/team value more? A RB right now with Stewart and Fozzy still on the team OR a DE? Peppers is a ONE year deal… Ealy is gone. There will be a void next year at DE. Not a lot makes sense right now, kind of like what I just said… But, why attempt to move up 8 spots and lose a player in a position that is kind of already a need?

  10. Pantherdude

    March 12, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    So far Gettleman has patched up our holes and set us up for a true bpa friendly draft, and we have improved our ammo to trade up for a coveted target if needed. I still think Tanoh Kpassagnon is a target, given DG’s comments @ the Senior bowl. I would LOVE to get Obi Melifonwu in 2nd.

  11. rjcrjc

    March 12, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    You can think of the Ealy deal this way too: the value of moving from 70 to 62 is roughly 40 value points by the chart above, which is equivalent to a 4th round pick. So we let Ealy go for the equivalent of a fourth rounder.
    Obviously we were done with the guy and had run out of patience so that seems like a fair deal.
    3 picks in the top 64 is a good position to be in in this draft, which is STRONG. And that gives G-Man room to maneuver.
    I can see us moving back in the first,and maybe up in the second. If Solomon Thomas is there at 8, I hope we grab him. If not, I could see us moving back to 12-15 and getting extra picks, then using those picks again to move around to get players we like. If we could swing this to get 4 of the top 64 – that would add a lot of young talent.

  12. dukes

    March 13, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Almost right. Package a 2 rd pick with the 8 and you move up to Jacksonvilles pick at 4. If they want Fournette, that’s probably what they need to do. Then you still have a 2 of your own.

  13. K Holliday

    March 14, 2017 at 12:54 am

    I have felt for weeks that Panthers should offer Browns our 8th and 40th pick for their 12th and 33rd. Browns happy to have better shot at 8 for a QB and we still get one of our top 3 choices at number 12….. then we are able to take 33 and add 64th and move up to 20th or 21st to get Cam Robinson. Two first rounders for the price of our new 64th

  14. Jonathon barnette

    March 15, 2017 at 5:24 am

    I like all the good ideas that everyone is leaving.. I can also see a trade don’t know if it is to trade further back in the first round or to trade back into the first round or maybe just stay where we are.. either choice this year draft is going to be amazing.. with all the young talented prospects in the top 100 it is a dream come true to have 4 picks in top 100.. if it was up to me I would use the 8 pick and draft the best running back available between cook or fournette either one of them is a win win situation for our running game.. then I wouldn’t trade my first second round pick and I would pick Jabrill Peppers to learn behind or even take the starter spot behind that newly sign strong safety more talent and athleticism then Boston could ever dream of in fact maybe trade Boston to get another pick.. papers would be a great fit for our secondary and could provide youth speed and toughness at strong safety.. the second pick in the second round I would pickd the best defense end available I like the idea of getting
    Takkarist McKinley or Devonte Fields or even Demarcus Walker if either of them are still on the board.. then the third round pick I would definitely go after a wide out specially a slot wide out like Zay Jones great hands route running and has the ability to find holes and get open or maybe K.D. Cannon I watch some tape on him and he will be a beast.. even with speedester Byrd and the athleticism with Garrett on the roster the more talent we have at wide out the better Newton will be.. my opinion on that is actually let them compete with the only lock as a start being kb.. who will have a bounce back break out year.. then fourth depending who is on the board still I would more then likely go bpa at tight end or another defesive end.. a young tight end who can learn from Olsen would benefit us.. and imagine if we get two talent defesive ends that can be tutored by one of the best players at that position ever in peppers and one can learn from another stud in Johnson.. that would benefit us do years to come.. but yeah that’s my four round hoping begging and praying that it falls this way.. but either way to much talent in this draft to get it wrong.. keep pounding panther nation in gentleman I trust

  15. Jay

    March 15, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Grab fournette in the first rd and a d end second

  16. Csrpanfan95

    March 19, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Pretty good write up. I posted one similar to this on the message board and Panthers main page.

    Except I was using examples with trading Tee Boston, Trai Turner and others to move up into the first round with the Browns at #1 or Jets at6 I think to land Fournette.

    Fans think I would have to trade 2 first round picks to do it. No and here is why. At some point and it is starry to happen we either start trading players for picks or we are training players other teams. IE AJ Klein.

    So trading players from now on like Ealy or Boston shouldn’t cause a panic. Some of these tradescantia be rewarded in comp picks and now that they are tradable makes more sense than ever to think this way.

    Think the more times you can trade into the first round you can use the 5th year option on a impact player.

    So though as much as I would love to jump up into the first round, just using the 64 the pick and player like Boston to move the 64th pick further up the board orjump tbe 4th round pick ahead of tbe traded 3rd Rd comp picks.

    Gettleman has some solid options. Like what has has done since the end of the season. Gettleman has signed all the available LT’s that was of talent. You will have to read the future Signers see.

    Then Gettleman jumped into Fa and signed some solid players, but didn’t spend big. Next comes the draft and I’m sure we will all-day what the blank was you thinking of maybe that was brilliant.

    Then comes priority UDFA and then the second round Fa shuffle after the draft and Gettleman goes bargain price shopping and rounds out the roster.

    Then he could do like he did with the Bears and trade a future Pickford a player.

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