If the Carolina Panthers had their way, Leonard Fournette and Cam Newton would be in the same backfield — and the Jacksonville Jaguars might have landed Solomon Thomas.
That’s according to Pat Kirwin of Sirius NFL Radio, who said the Panthers tried to trade up to the No. 2 overall pick to get Fournette.
Pat Kirwin said on NFL radio that the Panthers tried to trade up to 2 to grab Fournette. Sounds right.— Jeremy Igo (@CarolinaHuddle) July 19, 2017
So how would this have changed the 2017 NFL Draft?
Well, the No. 1 overall pick would have still been Myles Garrett to the Cleveland Browns. Nothing is changing there. But the original No. 2 overall pick belonged to the San Francisco 49ers, meaning they would have gone down to No. 8 overall.
The No. 3 overall pick would have likely still been Mitch Trubisky to the Chicago Bears, which leaves Solomon Thomas all alone at the No. 4 overall spot for the Jaguars.
The Panthers went on to fire general manager Dave Gettelman a couple of months later. Could a failure to bring in a bell-cow back like Fournette be the reason? They did end up getting Christian McCaffery at eighth overall, who will undoubtedly be a dynamic player in that offense.
Knowing there was a (small) chance that Thomas could have been on his way to Jaguars training camp right now does not make me feel better about my Tuesday.