FINALLY. A QB, HAS RETURNED TO……. CAROLINA! After spending the last three seasons laughing at my mate every time Darnold was throwing an interception or getting sacked, I’m now confident he will win the Panthers a Super Bowl. On a serious note I have always liked Darnold on the down low and wanted him to succeed, and what better place to come redeem yourself than Carolina. For what we’ve given up for him as well I am more than happy with Darnold becoming the new #14.
Who is Sam Darnold
Samuel Richard Darnold, born June 5th 1997 was the number 3 pick of the 2018 draft. Only 1 year and 92 days older than Mac Jones who will be in this year’s draft, Darnold already has 3 seasons experience under his belt. Although he hasn’t been able to light it up with the Jets, I think we can all appreciate how poorly the team around him has been, in a game that requires every player out there to do their job. It Probably didn’t help him either that his #1 receiver, Robby Anderson left to join the Panthers. In the 18/19 season Darnold threw 88 completions to Robby Anderson for 1341 yards and 11 touchdowns, 21 of them completions for 20+ yards. Let’s hope he can replicate those type of numbers in Carolina.
The trade itself
The Panthers have given The Jets a 2021 6th round pick, 2022 2nd round pick and a 2022 4th round pick. Personally I think Darnold is worth a 1st rounder even though he hasn’t shown his worth so far, there’s no doubt there’s potential in him to become a great. Darnold’s first ever throw in the NFL was an interception, and every QB who has thrown an interception as his first throw in the NFL, has gone onto become a Hall of Famer. Coincidence? Could be. Clutching at straws? Maybe. Hotel? Trivago.
The trade itself I think is great for both parties, Panthers have a new QB who doesn’t have a massive contract and if Sam doesn’t improve, he’ll be a free agent in a season or two. While the Jets are getting as many picks as they can to start the rebuild.
What this means for the Panthers
Sam Darnold might just be the hero we need to bring the offence together, and get a positive record season for the first time since Cam Newton was axed (Still not happy about it). With Christian McCaffrey coming back after missing out most of last season, alongside DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and maybe even a TE/WR picked at 8 or an offensive lineman, the Panthers will be an unreal offensive outfit. If Darnold cannot perform with these weapons at his disposal then there really is no hope.
While getting Darnold for dirt cheap is a great business deal, don’t sleep on Panthers picking Fields at 8 if he’s still available. As Teddy has been allowed to seek a trade away from Carolina, Fields could be a perfect QB to sit behind Darnold and compete for the starting position. Fields will then either replace Darnold if he’s not good enough or be traded away after a season or two. Either way you won’t see me complaining about losing three picks for a QB that can’t be worse than Bridgewater was last year, right?
Panthers pre draft predictions for next season
Am I going to put my reputation that I don’t have on the line? Absolutely. Panthers are going 12-5, making it into the play offs as a Wildcard team. Now I’m being slightly realistic here by admitting that Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are winning the division, Saints and Falcons are only going to get worse this season. Losing 8 games by one score last season, I can see us doing the complete opposite with a fully fit squad and Darnold. Hopefully we bolster the offensive line and add an additional CB to the roster in the draft, maybe even one of the many talented WR’s that are in this draft class. More than likely at the end of the season, I’ll look back and think “what was I saying? Can’t believe I didn’t back us to go 17-0…”. Either way what’s been done in this off seasons so far has only got Panthers fans excited.