However, he gets the sense the Panthers are intrigued by Ohio State QB Justin Fields. Person isn’t sure if that interest is real enough for them to select Fields with the No. 8 pick if he falls or a smokescreen to make their pick more valuable in a trade to another team.
Carolina traded for QB Sam Darnold a couple of weeks ago but Person points out they have yet to officially exercise his fifth-year option which would guarantee him $18.858 million in 2022.
The deadline for that isn’t until May 3 and a team source tells Person they expect to pick up the option. However, Panthers GM Scott Fitterer and HC Matt Rhule have publicly maintained they could still take a quarterback in the top ten.
Fitterer has a strong history of trading back coming from Seattle and Person thinks the Panthers could target one of those players if they move down the board.
Fields is projected to be one of the top quarterbacks available in this class and could end up being a top-three pick when all is said and done.
During his junior season at Ohio State, Fields completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,100 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions in eight starts. He also rushed 81 times for 382 yards and five more touchdowns.
We’ll have more on the Panthers as the news is available.