According to a report from Adam Schefter on Monday afternoon, the Jets have come to an agreement to trade Sam Darnold to the Panthers for a 2021 sixth-round pick along with second- and fourth-round picks in 2022. It was already heavily speculated the Jets were going to draft a quarterback with the second-overall pick and now that seems assured, with BYU's Zach Wilson being the most popular mock draft target.
The Panthers got a good deal on Darnold, giving up just one late-round pick this season and two next year, and this move should take Carolina out of quarterback consideration in the first round. Reports also indicated that Carolina will pick up Darnold's fifth-year option, keeping him on the team through the next two seasons. Though the Panthers could still use some top-10 talent with their eighth-overall pick, it could make them more amenable to trade partners looking to trade up for a quarterback that they'll no longer need.
Atlanta is the wild card at fourth overall. With Matt Ryan in place, they could opt for the best non-QB in the draft like Kyle Pitts or Ja'Marr Chase, but Ryan is 35. The Bengals at fifth overall will also be considering between that Chase-Pitts duo to pair with Joe Burrow, while Miami seems content with Tua Tagovailoa and Detroit just acquired Jared Goff. Add it all up and the fourth and fifth quarterbacks should last at least until ninth-overall with the Broncos' selection.
This offseason has not been kind to the Patriots' chances of securing one of the top five quarterbacks in this year's draft, with San Francisco most recently jumping up to third overall. But today's trade was some slightly good news – it provides clarity on the Jets' situation while also taking the Panthers out of the rookie QB market. The Patriots will still have to work some magic to get into the top 10 if they have their eyes on one of the quarterbacks, but at least there's a viable route to eighth-overall if they're willing to pay the price.