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After picking Ickey Ekwonu, Panthers will look at “every opportunity” for QB

The Panthers are in need of a quarterback, but they opted for tackle Ickey Ekwonu with their sixth overall pick instead.

The Panthers haven’t been shy about their plan to add a quarterback to the roster before the 2022 season and some thought that they might use the sixth overall pick in the draft to make that happen.

When it came time to make that selection on Thursday night, a quarterback’s name wasn’t on the card handed in to the league. It was tackle Ickey Ekwonu, who filled another major need for the NFC South team but the Panthers will now have to wait until No. 137 to make another selection.

That would seem to make a trade for a veteran quarterback like Baker Mayfield a more likely path for the Panthers to take, but General Manager Scott Fitterer wasn’t conceding that point on Thursday night.

“I think we’ll look at every opportunity out there. There are still some really good players in this draft and we’ll also look at every opportunity outside the organization,” Fitterer said in a press conference.

Fitterer said the team would look for ways to move into the second day of the draft, but it would seem more prudent to use any trade capital for a player with a track record than a stab in the dark at a quarterback who wasn’t deemed worthy of a first-round selection this year.