On Wednesday, the Carolina Panthers agreed to terms to send quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos for a sixth-round pick in return. With the Panthers holding the eighth-overall pick in the draft and the Broncos holding the ninth pick, this will undoubtedly have an impact on Thursday’s first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Both teams have been considered to at least be marginally interested in taking a quarterback with their first-round pick, but has that now changed for either team?
The Broncos now have Bridgewater to compete with young Drew Lock for the starting job. However, Bridgewater doesn’t exactly fix Denver’s long-term problem at the position. Per Josina Anderson, part of the conditions of the trade dictate that Bridgewater will become a free agent in 2022. In other words, they have just a one-year rental on Bridgewater.
Additionally, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that this trade “does not take Denver out of QB market Thursday night, per source.” Of course, the Broncos stand to benefit from putting out this information to further obfuscate their intentions for the draft, so take that with a grain of salt.
Realistically, it does seem like Denver is in a position where they probably won’t trade up with a team like... I don’t know... the Detroit Lions... to grab a quarterback. But they could certainly still grab one if they fall to Pick No. 9.
As for the Panthers, they’re a hard team to read right now. Earlier this offseason, they traded for former Jets first-round pick Sam Darnold, which appeared to have taken them out of the quarterback market. But with this move, Carolina’s quarterback depth chart of Darnold (who is on the final year of his contract with the fifth-year option still available), P.J. Walker, Will Grier and Tommy Stevens certainly stands to be improved both in the immediate and the long-term.
In my opinion, both the Panthers and Broncos are in a position in which they likely wouldn’t trade up for a quarterback, giving the Lions two fewer options for trade-down partners. However, both situations are murky enough that it’s possible the Lions could convince a different team they need to trade ahead of both Denver and Carolina to grab the quarterback they want.
- Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell apparently grew up a Lions fan. He explains why with Pro Football Talk here at the 6:20 mark:
- Some final mock drafts from the local beat: Ben Raven from MLive and Justin Rogers from the Detroit News.
- The 2021 Detroit Lions: Not currently all that marketable:
No Lions on the latest NFLPA top-50 sellers for licensed merchandise.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) April 28, 2021
- The fellas at The Athletic have a nice recap piece of all the information we’ve heard about the Lions regarding their draft intentions. They kick things off with a juicy trade rumor:
“Multiple sources have told (multiple people at) The Athletic that the Lions would like to trade back from No. 7 and have made that desire known.”
- Jared Goff joined Kimmi Chex to talk about his philanthropic endeavors in Los Angeles and how he plans to bring that to the city of Detroit:
- Trey Flowers joined the media on Wednesday and talked about his conflicting emotions following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case.