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Josh Norman compensatory pick gives Panthers GM options in draft

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Would it be worth the loss of cornerback Josh Norman if the Carolina Panthers could draft LSU safety Jamal Adams? Or Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas? Or Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore?

Or if you really want to dream big, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, projected as the top player.

General manager Dave Gettleman hasn’t hesitated over the past four years to trade draft picks in the lower rounds to move up for a player he coveted.

Now he has the power and incentive to make some noise in the first round.

Getting a third-round compensatory pick for losing Norman after rescinding the franchise tag on the 2015 Pro Bowl selection last year could pay dividends if Gettleman wants to improve on the eighth overall pick.

Much will depend on what happens in free agency. But with four of the top 98 picks, Gettleman could package the No. 8 pick and a third-rounder (72 or 98) -- and maybe even another lower-round pick -- to move up.

It’s doubtful he could package a deal to get Garrett, whose ability to disrupt the quarterback makes him the obvious choice for Cleveland at No. 1. But say Gettleman likes Adams or Thomas, both players at positions of need, the ammunition is there to move up.

Either could make an immediate impact on a defense that prior to last season ranked among the top 10 in the NFL for four consecutive seasons.

Say Gettleman's not completely sold on one of his 2016 cornerback picks, James Bradberry and Daryl Worley. Lattimore has the size (6-foot-11) and speed to be a premier player.

Or say Gettleman wants to assure he gets LSU running back Leonard Fournette if there are indications a team ahead of Carolina might take him. He has the ammunition.

None of these players will lessen what losing Norman meant to last season. Without him the Panthers started 1-5 and finished 6-10 a year after a trip to the Super Bowl.

But it could soften the blow.

There already have been reports that San Francisco might be willing to move down from the No. 2 pick. The 49ers are looking for a quarterback, and probably could get North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky or possibly Clemson's Deshaun Watson at No. 8.

So Gettleman has flexibility if he wants to make a move up in the first round as he has lower rounds. Much will depend on what the Panthers learn in evaluations over the next week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Here’s a complete look at Carolina’s draft picks after supplementary picks were added:

Round 1: No. 8

Round 2: No. 40

Round 3: No. 72

Round 3: No. 98 (compensatory for Josh Norman)

Round 4: No. 115

Round 5: No. 152

Round 6: No. 192

Round 7: No. 232 (From Colts through Browns or Vikings)

Round 7: No. 233 (From Colts through Browns or Vikings)