Offensive Line Headlines Offseason Needs For The Carolina Panthers

Panthers HC Matt Rhule. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers HC Matt Rhule. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /
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2022 NFL Draft, Sam Howell, Carolina Panthers
UNC QB Sam Howell. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Quarterback

It makes sense that the Carolina Panthers would roll with Darnold again in 2022, to see if that an offensive line overhaul could help him recapture what he did early in 2021. However, heading into 2021 with your job on the line should constitute having a backup plan at the quarterback position. It probably isn’t Cam Newton or P.J. Walker, though keeping Walker on the roster is a solid call.

The free agent pool doesn’t look promising. It’s hard to imagine that Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the plan, and even though Andy Dalton has had success, he isn’t an answer either. Everyone likes Marcus Mariota, but he isn’t the one to elevate a team. Tyrod Taylor has done it, and might be the best option.

It isn’t the year to desperately need a quarterback in terms of the 2022 NFL Draft, especially with a lack of selections. Still, the sixth pick could offer them the chance to get the guy they want. Maybe it’s Kenny Pickett, who has had a fantastic rise in 2021. Malik Willis has a ton of tools, but needs time to refine his craft. Sam Howell plays some great ball in terms of his velocity, deep ball accuracy, and rushing success. The Senior Bowl will offer more clarity, but maybe the Panthers go that direction. If it isn’t early, Bailey Zappe and Kaleb Eleby are mid-round options.