The Carolina Panthers are looking to take that next step in their rebuild process in 2021. It is the second season under Matt Rhule and the team is in a position to take that next step across the board. Offensively, there is a lot to be excited about with Sam Darnold, Christian McCaffrey, Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore, and rookie wideout Terrace Marshall Jr.
Carolina had some poor injury luck in 2020, which proved difficult to overcome. But, with some better luck in that area, the team is poised to increase their win total. Playing better in close games is another thing Rhule would like to see.
The Panthers lost five games last season by less than a touchdown. Three more were by eight or fewer points. One or two more breaks going their way in a game and Carolina would have been challenging for a playoff spot in Rhule’s first season as head coach.
This season, the team is hoping that Darnold can help take them to the next level offensively. Carolina surrounded him with more talent than he saw in his three years with the New York Jets combined. One of the new players that are poised for a role in this offense is Terrace Marshall Jr.
Marshall was the 59th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and the Panthers look like they have a steal on their hands. The LSU product has put himself in a position to have a very good rookie season.
He earned the No. 3 wide receiver job during training camp, as the Panthers released veteran David Moore. While he may be the fourth option in the pecking order behind Anderson, Moore, and McCaffrey, there will be plenty of chances for Marshall to shine.
Standing 6’3” and weighing 205 pounds, Marshall has the size and athleticism to line up anywhere in the formation. He will likely be doing a lot of his work from the slot, with Anderson and Moore lining up on the perimeter.
He will likely be taking over the role vacated by Curtis Samuel, who signed with the Washington Football Team in the offseason. Last season, Samuel caught 77 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns. He added 41 rushes for 200 yards and another two scores.
Last season, Carolina had three wide receivers finish in the top-25 of Fantasy Football. There is no reason that cannot happen again with steadier quarterback play from Darnold. Marshall will finish this season right around the same spot, catching 65 passes for 780 yards and seven touchdowns.