2021 projections for Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold, Panthers
NFL Analysis Network

Just like for an NFL team, a quarterback not producing can doom your Fantasy Football team as well. While the position is deep once again this season, there are a few players that will be looking to break out, one of them being Carolina Panthers new starting quarterback Sam Darnold.

Darnold was hailed as a savior for the New York Jets when they selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in 2018. New York traded the No. 6 pick in the 2018 draft along with three second-round picks to get the deal done with the Indianapolis Colts.

Jets fans were ecstatic, as they had been cheering on their team to lose games throughout 2017 to have a chance at landing the USC product. He didn’t even make it through his rookie contract before the organization and fans gave up on him.

The Panthers will now be taking a shot on Darnold and hoping they can extract some of the potential out of him that the Jets couldn’t. New York never truly gave him a chance to succeed, as he was surrounded by bad coaching, poor offensive line play and the weakest group of skill position players in the NFL.

Carolina traded a sixth-round pick in 2021, a second-round pick in 2022 and a fourth-round pick in 2022 in exchange for Darnold. Will he prove to be worth the price? Let’s take a look at some projections for Darnold in 2021.

What To Expect From Sam Darnold In 2021

The Carolina Panthers have set Sam Darnold up for success more than the Jets did in his three seasons with the team. The Panthers have the pieces in place for Darnold to showcase the skills that made him the third pick three years ago and he will succeed.

Carolina has two 1,000-yard receivers on their roster in Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore. Anderson was the best weapon Darnold had during his Jets tenure, so linking back up with him is a positive.

The Panthers also used a second-round pick on Terrace Marshall Jr. and have veteran David Moore in the fold, giving Darnold a strong group of wide receivers.

Carolina also has a dynamic weapon in the backfield in Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey is one of the best running backs in the NFL and is a legitimate dual-threat coming out of the backfield. He is only one season removed from having 1,000+ rushing yards and 1,000+ receiving yards.

With a strong offensive line ahead of him as well, Darnold will have a career season with the Panthers. He will throw for at least 3,500 yards and toss 28 touchdowns, setting a career-high in both. The former Trojan will also continue the trend of his interceptions going down, as he will have single-digit interceptions for the first time in his career.