The Carolina Panthers are one of the few teams near the top of the 2022 NFL Draft that could be in the market for a quarterback. With the No. 6 overall pick, that is the first spot many analysts believe a quarterback could come into play.
The Panthers could certainly use help at the position as their offense was held back by quarterback play last season. Sam Darnold and Cam Newton both threw more interceptions than touchdowns on the season and completed fewer than 60 percent of their passes.
While this isn’t regarded as the strongest quarterback class, the Panthers will search high and low to find a franchise quarterback. If there is a prospect that they like enough, they should not hesitate to pull the trigger on selecting them.
With the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine occurring recently, we are starting to learn some new information about how some teams feel about specific prospects. When it comes to the Panthers, there could be a quarterback emerging from the bunch in Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder.
Carolina was reportedly impressed by the former Bearcat at the combine. JPA Football shared the update on Twitter.
Ridder was excellent in four years with Cincinnati, leading them to the College Football Playoff following the 2021 season. He completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 10,239 yards and 87 touchdowns, throwing only 28 interceptions. Ridder also possesses some rushing ability, running for 2,180 yards in his career to go along with 28 more scores. He even caught a touchdown during the 2021 season.
If he is someone that the Panthers are interested in, it could mean that they are looking at opportunities to trade down. It would be shocking if Ridder went off the board at No. 6 overall. But, since the Panthers do not have a second or third-round pick, they could look to pick some up by trading back in the draft and targeting Ridder following the trade back.
Standing 6’4” and weighing 215 pounds, Ridder has good size for the quarterback position. If he lands in the right system with the right team, he has the talent to turn into a solid starter at the next level.