The Carolina Panthers did not have a first round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, but traded a future first-round pick to acquire the 43rd overall selection, which they used to draft Florida State defensive end Everette Brown.

In the 2008 season, the Panthers finished 12-4 in the regular season, finishing in first place in the NFC South. They lost to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

Entering 2009, the last time the Panthers did not have a first-round selection was 1999. That year, the first player they selected in the draft was Georgia tackle Chris Terry, who was selected 34th overall.
- The Panthers traded the 28th pick of the 1st round and 2008 2nd and 4th round picks to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2008 1st round pick on April 26, 2008.

- The Panthers acquired the 11th pick in the 2nd round (43rd overall) and the 11th pick in the 4th round (111th overall) from the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

- The Panthers traded the 28th pick of the 7th round to the Miami Dolphins for Josh McCown on Aug. 29, 2008.