Back Against the Wall
The Carolina Panthers 2022 outlook, or the theme is “back against the wall.” Head Coach Matt Rhule was on the hot seat last season, and is lucky to still be in charge. Running back Christian McCaffery needs to stay healthy. He has played in 10 games over the last 2 seasons combined. He will be there in 2023 because of his high dead cap number. But they Panthers will look to strengthen the position group if CMC gets hurt again this season. Quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold were drafted 1st and 3rd in the 2018 draft. They are now entering Training Camp battling to be QB1. The winner of the battle needs to take the job and show the franchise he can be the long term answer for the Panthers. This franchise is desperate to find a franchise quarterback.
It’s Not All Bad
It’s not all bad in Charlotte though. The wide receiver corps is talented. D.J. Moore, Robbie Anderson, and Terrance Marshall Jr is middle of the NFL. The defense has some good young talent as well. Brian Burns will take over as the premier pass rusher on the roster with the departure of Hassan Reddick. Jaycee Horn looked really good in his rookie campaign before getting injured. Losing Stephon Gilmore in free agency hurts the depth, but they hope the addressed that in free agency.
For a team with not a lot of draft capitol, they addressed some big holes in the roster. #6 overall selection Ikem Ekwonu out of North Carolina State is viewed as an elite talent. Matt Corral entered 2021 as a Heisman hopeful for Ole Miss. The Panthers nabbed him in the 3rd round. He won’t see the field early on this year, but if the season goes south, then why not. They also drafted a defensive lineman, line backer, and cornerback. They’re at least trying to address multiple areas of the roster to provide some depth.