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Panthers GM Scott Fitterer: We do need a QB, and at some point you have to take a shot

Mike Golic explains why he's not buying the narrative that Jimmy Garoppolo will remain with the San Francisco 49ers heading into the 2022 NFL season.

Panthers General Manager Scott Fitterer sounds like he’s strongly considering a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft.

Fitterer told Darin Gantt of that although he thinks the strongest position group in the draft is offensive tackle, the Panthers could go quarterback with the sixth overall pick.

“This will be interesting because the tackles will be the best players on the board,” Fitterer said. “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. It’s a unique quarterback class, because there’s not a clear number one, number two, number three. 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.”

Sam Darnold is currently penciled in as the Panthers’ starter, but he has done nothing to this point in his NFL career to give anyone any hope that he’s going to develop into a franchise quarterback.

Most draft observers consider Malik Willis of Liberty, Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh and Matt Corral of Ole Miss the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft. If the Panthers want one of them, at least one will almost certainly be available at No. 6.

But the Panthers can’t afford to miss at No. 6, because they’ve traded away their second-, third- and fourth-round picks. After No. 6, they don’t pick again until No. 137. And they’re not getting a franchise quarterback there.