Panthers GM wary of QB draft class, but 'you have to take a shot'

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Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer isn't sold on the 2022 quarterback draft class but acknowledged Wednesday he could take one early regardless.

"This will be interesting because the tackles will be the best players on the board," he told Darin Gantt of "But we do need a quarterback, and at some point you have to take a shot, especially in the top 10. You hate to force it, because when you force it, you could make a mistake."

The Panthers have spent two years shuffling through quarterbacks, looking for one who'll push the franchise into contention long term. Carolina owns the sixth overall pick in a draft that has been described as weak at the quarterback position.

Pitt's Kenny Pickett, Liberty's Malik Willis, Ole Miss' Matt Corral, North Carolina's Sam Howell, and Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder are all first-round candidates.

"It's a unique quarterback class, because there's not a clear No. 1, No. 2, No. 3," Fitterer added. "Like, who's the proven starter who can come in and play for you? That'll be the conversation we have for the next month - quarterback or left tackle. And we could always go pass-rusher because Brian Burns is coming up. I mean, we'll do the (2023) option, but if that money gets out of hand, it's better to have somebody ready to go in the hopper."

Sam Darnold is in line to open the 2022 season behind center. The Panthers traded three draft picks for Darnold last year, but the former New York Jets prodigy continued to struggle in Carolina.

Panthers GM wary of QB draft class, but 'you have to take a shot'
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