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Could the Panthers Take Justin Fields if He Falls to No. 8?

Carolina keeping all options open with the 8th pick.

The Carolina Panthers hold the 8th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and while most believe they will use that pick on an offensive lineman or cornerback, there is still a chance that they add yet another quarterback to the fold.

Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said in a press conference last week that they do like a quarterback in this draft and that they will take the best player available, even if it is a quarterback.

"I believe in bringing in the best players that fit your team, create competition, and upgrade the roster. Whether it's a quarterback, a corner it doesn't matter. It's just how do they fit our team, what's the path for success and what's our plan for them?"

The one quarterback that seems to make the most sense is Ohio State's Justin Fields. In a recent interview on The Rich Eisen Show, NFL insider Ian Rapoport discussed the possibility of the Panthers drafting a quarterback at No. 8, specifically Fields. 

"They do like one quarterback. My sense is that Justin Fields would be the guy also because I think he would be there. So they definitely like a quarterback. Unless they want everyone to know that they like a quarterback so the Broncos trade up over them and maybe the Broncos trade up for Justin Fields. One of those things is true, I just don't know which and I think that's what's really fun about the draft. They both could be true. They could like Justin Fields enough and would take him except if someone else gave them an offer they couldn't refuse to trade up. 

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"Scott Fitterer, the general manager there came from Seattle. Seattle has one of the best quarterback situations, well, before this offseason but had one of the best quarterback situations in the NFL with Russell Wilson. To get to Russell Wilson in the 3rd round, they signed Matt Flynn, they signed Tavaris Jackson, they traded for someone maybe Charlie Whitehurst. They took at least three swings at quarterback before they landed on Russell Wilson. I would not be surprised if Carolina did the same thing. So yeah, they have Sam Darnold. Are they set with Sam Darnold at quarterback as definitely their starter? I would not say that. They are going to keep doing things to make sure that they have options at quarterback until they just find the right one."

Aside from Sam Darnold, Carolina also has 2020 starter, Teddy Bridgewater and 2019 3rd round pick Will Grier still on the roster. Grier's contract is the cheapest of the three and would be mainly viewed as a 3rd stringer. Bridgewater has been open to a trade but could very well see himself battling for the starting job along with Darnold and just maybe Justin Fields. I know, it sounds crazy to have all three still on the roster but it does give Carolina options and gives them a better chance at finding their next franchise quarterback. The 2022 draft class lacks QB talent and Carolina may not get within the top five picks anytime in the near future - at least they shouldn't with the amount of talent they now have. 

If Fields is still on the board, would you take him?

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