A day before the NFL draft, the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers made a trade that could affect the top of the first round.
Both teams are seen as potential candidates to draft a quarterback in Round 1, but the Broncos acquiring Teddy Bridgewater from the Panthers for a sixth-round pick could shake things up. It certainly shifted the betting odds at BetMGM.
According to BetMGM’s John Ewing, the odds for the Broncos selecting a QB with their first pick went from -110 to +140 following the trade. Meanwhile, the Panthers’ odds for drafting a QB went from +375 to +275.
Keep in mind, the Panthers already traded for former New York Jets first-rounder Sam Darnold this offseason. Darnold was the third overall pick back in 2018 but has been up-and-down during his time with a moribund Jets franchise. Could he revitalize his career in Carolina, or will the Panthers look to add a first-round QB to the equation?
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and BYU’s Zach Wilson are expected to go off the board with the first two picks to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jets, respectively. Another QB, Alabama’s Mac Jones, is projected by many experts to slide in at No. 3 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Two other QBs could be there for the Panthers at No. 8: North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields. After news of the trade surfaced, the odds for Lance landing in Carolina made a huge move from +1100 to +300. The odds for Fields-to-Carolina also moved, albeit on a much smaller scale. Those odds are now +275 after being +400 earlier Wednesday.
Could the Broncos still draft a QB?
The Broncos, meanwhile, still have Drew Lock, the team’s second round selection from the 2019 draft, on the depth chart. Lock has started 18 games over the past two seasons in Denver, but hasn’t proven to be a surefire long-term option. Bridgewater will now be on his third team in three years. He wasn’t overly impressive during his short stint with the Panthers, so it’s possible the Broncos could still be in the market for a QB at No. 9.
In his final mock draft ahead of Thursday night, Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm slotted Lance to the Panthers at No. 8 and Penei Sewell, the offensive tackle out of Oregon, to the Broncos at No. 9. BetMGM currently has +140 odds on offensive line being the position for Denver’s first selection. Linebacker is next at +240 (Micah Parsons perhaps?), with quarterback at +300 and cornerback at +500.
With that, Fields fell down the board to the New England Patriots at No. 15 in Edholm’s mock draft. However, Edholm noted that teams like the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Washington Football Team could all be lurking to potentially trade up and grab Fields.
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