Building the perfect Carolina QB


Sam Darnold hasn’t been the reply for the Panthers.
Picture: Getty Pictures

Since Cam Newton’s shoulder and foot accidents catalyzed his exit from the franchise that drafted him in 2011, you may shut your eyes, spin in a circle, blindly hearth a dart in direction of a board and be extra correct than the seven souls who’ve been tasked with main their rudderless offense.

Panthers followers have been jonesing for a reliable beginning quarterback for what appears like a lifetime. In actuality, it’s solely been three years of distress. Kyle Allen, PJ Walker, Will Grier, a washed-out model of Cam, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold have all taken the Panthers jalopy out for a drive, spun out and crashed. The jury remains to be out on Baker Mayfield, however we all know he was an extremely inconsistent, irritating expertise in Cleveland. Nonetheless, would they be sufficient to revitalize the Panthers should you took the strengths and kryptonite of every of the seven quarterbacks Carolina has devoured in recent times?

Kyle Allen had essentially the most promising begin to quarterback within the post-Cam-era, which isn’t saying a lot. In his first 5 2019 begins, the Panthers believed they’d uncovered a Brady-esque steal of their undrafted free agent backup till he got here crashing again to earth.

Early on, Allen’s heady play had him working on the perimeter of cult hero standing. Solely Kurt Warner, Patrick Mahomes, and Ben Roethlisberger have had a better passer ranking amongst quarterbacks to go undefeated and earn a 100-plus passer ranking in every of their first 5 begins.

That wasn’t the primary time Allen changed into a small-sample-size celebrity. At Texas A&M, he arrived a yr forward of freshman phenom Kyler Murray because the top quarterback in the Class of 2014. Allen’s arm power screamed celebrity, and his decision-making gave followers flash grenade complications.

After Allen wore out his welcome, the Panthers turned to their third-round decide, Will Grier. The Panthers rookie was a stink bomb within the pocket, throwing for 228 yards, zero touchdowns and 4 interceptions in his solely two begins. That offers Carolina’s Composite QB two quarterbacks with extreme turnover woes. Issues aren’t wanting nice up to now.

However, P.J. Walker and Cam give our composite some mobility behind their shoddy offensive line. P.J.Walker can’t churn by means of contact as powerfully as Newton, however he doesn’t must. He’s a sooner mannequin who is healthier at avoiding contact and dancing behind the road of scrimmage as an alternative of turning upfield and making an attempt to Hulk Smash linebackers. Walker’s kryptonite is his 9 ⅛-inch fingers. These tiny fingers make ball safety a difficulty when he’s hit. Walker has run 12 instances in two seasons and fumbled on 25 p.c of these rushes.

Cam Newton’s return in 2021 had Carolina followers excited for a reboot. Sadly, SuperCam’s “I’m Again” power dissipated in his closing begins. Nonetheless, Cam 2.0’s contributions of a thick decrease physique additionally give our Frankenstein the power to churn by means of contact simply. But, that thick decrease physique comes with a stack of injuries that might intimidate any orthopedist.

In 2020, Teddy Bridgwater signed to be the Panthers’ beginning quarterback. Between the ears, his soccer IQ and cerebral pocket presence had been canceled out by an unwillingness to threaten defenses downfield.

Sam Darnold’s DNA gives our composite prospect a great deal of potential. It’s potential that at all times feels simply inside attain however isn’t realized. Sadly, Darnold’s immune system, mixed with Cam 2.0’s no-vax stance, can be one other impediment to our composite quarterback remaining on the sector. A mono and strep throat analysis derailed Darnold’s second season that he most likely caught from some West Village bar.

Baker Mayfield’s spunk is each his present and his curse. He’s at all times been the underdog since incomes the beginning job at Texas Tech as a walk-on to changing into a Heisman winner en path to incomes the belief of groups who thought-about him the highest quarterback within the 2018 Draft.

In totality, our Carolina Composite QB’s professionals include:

Kyle Allen’s arm power

Will Grier’s pocket presence

P.J. Walker’s mobility and improvisation potential

Cam 2.0’s power

Teddy Bridgewater’s soccer IQ

Sam Darnold’s potential makes him nice commerce bait

Baker Mayfield’s spunk

Our high-risk, high-reward quarterback has some zip on his deep throws, however he’s wildly inaccurate. He’s additionally turnover-prone, setting opposing offenses up with wonderful area place by surrendering interceptions at an alarming tempo due to Grier’s penchant for interceptions and Allen’s decision-making. Moreover, all that dancing from P.J. Walker does us no good when he can’t maintain onto the ball.

Sadly, our Composite Carolina QB won’t even crack the top-15 quarterbacks within the NFL, which is exactly what has appealed to the Panthers currently. There’s a saying about quarterbacks that definitely applies right here. You probably have two beginning quarterbacks, you even have none in any respect. General, this was as a lot of an train in futility as anything the Panthers have finished in the previous few years.

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