Big trade could mean big regret for Panthers

The Carolina Panthers are like the dog that caught the car.

They traded four draft picks, including two No. 1 picks, and receiver D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears for the top pick in the draft.

The next question: Now what?

The Panthers made the trade before they decided which quarterback they will take with the top pick.

That means there is no automatic first choice like when players like Trevor Lawrence and Andrew Luck were at the top of the draft board.

Instead, there are four quarterbacks likely to be drafted high on the first round, but it won’t be an easy decision. And if the Panthers pick the wrong one or none of them make it big, they will be back to square one.

It is likely they will choose between C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young, who had a great college career at Alabama but is only 5-10 1/8.

The most athletic quarterback is Anthony Richardson, who had a dynamite combine but a lackluster college career.

The fourth one is Will Levis of Kentucky, who isn’t likely to be the top pick.

If nothing else, the Panthers have created a lot drama. They can’t afford to miss on this pick.

In another interesting development, even the Panthers aren’t convinced the player they draft with the first pick will be ready to start as a rookie. They signed veteran Andy Dalton to give them a stopgap starter if the rookie needs time to develop.

The Panthers also could have gotten a shot at Lamar Jackson for two No. 1 picks if they had offered him a fully guaranteed contract. They then could have saved two picks and kept Moore. But the NFL is trying to hold the line on fully guaranteed contracts because most owners were unhappy that Deshaun Watson got one from Cleveland.

So the Panthers are now on the clock. We can only wait to see what they will do.

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