BREAKING NEWS: Chicago, Carolina swap picks; Panthers now have No. 1 overall pick
Although Carolina paid a hefty price to move up to the No. 1 overall spot in its trade Friday with Chicago, draft trade calculators show that it was a pretty even swap.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Carolina traded its picks at No. 9 and No. 61, a first-round pick in 2024 and a second-rounder in 2025 along with receiver D.J. Moore to Chicago for the first pick.
According to Calculator Soup, Chicago came out just ahead of Carolina in the deal – but that doesn’t factor Moore in the trade, and his inclusion may be the sweetener that made it happen. Any team in the six to 10 range in the upcoming draft was always going to have to include an extra first-rounder and at least two seconds to move up to No. 1. Therefore, whoever sweetened the pot the most would likely come out on top.
And considering Chicago’s need at receiver, combined with a somewhat lackluster draft class at the position, it’s easy to see why Carolina was able to move up seven spots. Moore, still only 25, is signed through 2025 and is on a reasonable contract. Although he’s coming off a down year this past season – not unexpected due to the quarterback chaos the Panthers delt with – he’s nonetheless put up big numbers throughout his career with 364 receptions for 5,201 yards and 21 touchdowns. He had three-straight seasons of 1,100-plus, 4-TD seasons between 2019-2021, then finished this past season with 63 receptions for 888 yards and a career-high 7 TDs. The receptions and yards were his lowest numbers since his rookie year when he caught 55 passes for 788 yards and 2 TDs.
Moore will immediately bolster a team that has severely lacked offensive playmakers over the years. Moore now joins third-year, up-and-coming QB Justin Fields and Chase Claypool, whom the team traded a second-round pick for last season.
Not to be forgotten is that new Carolina coach Frank Reich gets to have the quarterback of his choice. Alabama’s Bryce Young has long been the favorite to be the first QB drafted, but he didn’t throw during the Combine and was measured at 5-foot-10, 204-pounds, which would make him the shortest starting QB in the league.
Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, meanwhile, had what some analysts called the best Combine showing for a QB in recent memory, while the dark horse candidate to go No. 1 overall, Anthony Richardson, set several Combine records and looked better than expected in some of the passing drills. He’s drawn comparisons to another former No. 1 overall pick out of Florida by the Panthers, Cam Newton.
Jake Rigdon (@jrigdon73) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak.com. His big board is updated at least once per week during the season and leading up to the draft. Message him on Twitter to receive $3 off your new Ultimate GM subscription.