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Panthers more likely to trade out of first round than move up

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman is methodical and calculating when it comes to personnel decisions.

He waits until the market has settled before diving into free agency. He doesn’t take big gambles, frequently saying a team is never one player away from winning the Super Bowl.

You could call him conservative.

But will Gettleman be conservative with his picks in the NFL draft? Would he be willing to make a big move in or out of the first round of the April 28-30 selection process?

Moving up in the first round seems like a stretch considering Gettleman’s “never one player away’’ theory. He has stayed pat in the first round in each of his three seasons and come away with key players in defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (No. 14, 2013), wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (28, 2014) and linebacker Shaq Thompson 25, 2015).

So it seems unlikely he’ll trade the 30th pick to move up, particularly when it’s such a deep draft at two positions of need – defensive end and tackle.

Gettleman is more likely to move out of the first round, particularly if it means adding an additional second-round pick. He has only six picks overall, giving Chicago his sixth-round pick in exchange for defensive end Jared Allen this past season.

That again makes a trade seem unlikely since Gettleman treats draft picks like gold.

When he had only five picks in 2013 he held onto to them. When he had nine picks in 2015 and seven in 2014 he traded up to get players he wanted in the middle to lower rounds.

Odds are any move Gettleman makes will be minor. He’s not about making big splashes with moves. He’s about taking the best player available and making the best of it.

Here’s a look at trades Gettleman has made in his previous three drafts:

2013

• None

2014

• Traded fifth-round and seventh-round choices to Minnesota to move up in the fifth round to No. 148 to get cornerback Bene Benwikere. Benwikere became the starter at nickel and is slated to be the every-down corner opposite Josh Norman in 2016.

2015

• Traded second-, third- and sixth-round picks to move up in the second round to No. 41 to get wide receiver Devin Funchess. The former Michigan star could be the starter opposite Benjamin this season.

• Traded fourth-, fifth- and sixth-round picks to move up to No. 102 in the fourth round to get Daryl Williams. The former Oklahoma player is expected to push Mike Remmers for the starting right tackle job this season.