The Mountaineers’ best quarterback prospect since Geno Smith has a new home, or rather, old home after the Carolina Panthers drafted Charlotte native Will Grier in the third round.
Grier and the Panthers had been linked seemingly since the Mountaineers’ season ended. Grier grew up just north of Charlotte. The team nabbed Charlotte with the 100th overall pick in the 3rd round.
The Panthers did not make the Playoffs last season as Cam Newton played hurt during the latter half of the schedule. Newton has missed time over the last several seasons, and the dropoff in talent at backup QB was apparent.
With Newton’s history of injury troubles, Grier provides a nice insurance policy should the star quarterback goes down. Grier isn’t going to challenge Newton for a starting job. Another angle here is that Newton will be 30 when the season begins and he has two years left on a $103 million contract.
“With the situation as it is right now,” Grier said following the selection, “I’m going to give Cam as much support as I can, try to do everything I can to try to make him a better player and play my role on the team, whatever that might be. Part of my job is to stay ready, whether it’s now or a couple of years down the road.”
These next two years in Carolina will be “prove it” years for the former #1 overall draft pick. The team will have to decide in the Spring of 2021 whether to re-sign Newton to another mega-contract or hand the keys over to Grier.