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2021 NFL Draft: How does Jets’ trade of Sam Darnold to Panthers impact Giants?

Another trade could reshape the top 10 of the upcoming draft

New York Jets v New England Patriots Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL Draft is shaping up to be a wild one. We already saw the top 10 of the draft reshuffled by a pair of big trades, and Monday saw another deal to further change things up.

On Monday afternoon, it was announced that the New York Jets traded QB Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers.

As with the other trades at the top of the draft, the deal between the Jets and the Panthers could have some repercussions for the New York Giants at 11th overall. The move all but locks the Jets into a quarterback pick at second overall, but it removes some of the urgency for the Panthers to select a quarterback at eighth overall.

It had long been suspected that the Jets could take a quarterback with the second pick, even with Darnold on the roster. Likewise, quarterback has been a popular pick for the Panthers, despite the presence of Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback.

So while this confirms that quarterbacks will be (at least) the first two picks off the board, it also puts a non-quarterback firmly in contention at eighth overall.

This doesn’t rule out a third, fourth, or fifth quarterback going in the first 10 picks — the Panthers could always trade down. However, if Carolina hangs onto the pick and choose to see what Joe Brady can do with Darnold, it could take a potential option off the board for the Giants.

Interestingly, the Panthers didn’t have to send much to get Darnold, sending just a 2021 sixth round pick and second and 2022 second and fourth round picks to the Jets. That could be a remarkably low cost for Carolina if Darnold has a Ryan Tannehill like turnaround after parting ways with Adam Gase.

The Jets, meanwhile, have amassed considerable draft capital for the 2021 and 2022 drafts.

If the second pick in the 2021 draft is a quarterback, they have plenty of ammunition to build around him over the next two years.

What else does the 2021 draft have in store for us?