At the beginning of the Gettleman era in Carolina, I’m sure that many fans were suspecting a few changes to occur in lineup of the Panther’s starters. And like we all thought, a few free agency pickups were made over the off-season, and to be honest, I thought most of those that were made make the future of the Panther’s brighter. Drayton Florence, D.J. Moore, Mike Mitchel, and Domenik Hixon were the most notable of the free agency pickups made in the off-season. Domenik Hixon is one of the more notable pickups made, if not the most notable.
Now I’ve already written an article about what the pickup of Domenik Hixon means for the rest of the Panther’s receivers, but what does this mean for Domenik Hixon himself?
Obviously this is possibly a big step in Hixon’s career. He was regulated to the bench for the majority of his time with Giants, and caught no passes during a small stint in Denver. His time in Carolina could be huge for his career; he could very well come out of his shell and become a fantastic player and a fantastic free agency pickup. I see his opportunity in Carolina similar to that of Dwan Edwards. Coming into a team with a desperate need for a solid Wide Receiver, just like Edwards last year, with the exception to Wide Receiver, Edwards himself was a Defensive Tackle; Hixon could have a future similar to that Edwards. He could really shine with the Panthers.
Hixon faces a few problems coming into the Panthers. He has to surpass Brandon LaFell and possibly any other player that stands in his way to get a coveted starting spot. I have Hixon as the third receiver on the new depth chart, but it is extremely possible that he can surpass Brandon LaFell and become the second receiver on the depth chart. Again, I am extremely partial to Brandon LaFell, but I want to look at everything from all angles. Hixon has proven that he is an extremely good receiver, something he proved during the Monday Night game against the Giants. Last year was his best year in the NFL as well; he ended up with an average of 14.5 yards per catch, as well as a close to a career high year in yards recording, 567 yards on 39 catches. He also tied his career highs for touchdowns as well, ending up with two on the year.
Hixon has a huge chance to make something of his career, which has so far been just sitting the bench as third or fourth receiver and waiting for someone to get hurt to play. With the Panthers he comes into a good situation, a team with a desperate need for Wide Receivers, and anyone who can catch a ball would be welcome. Obviously Louis Murphy wasn’t the answer, and hopefully Hixon proves to be the opposite of Murphy, who was prone to drop a majority of the balls thrown to him. Again, his biggest hurdle is Brandon LaFell, and like I said, I’d rather not see LaFell replaced but there is a strong likely hood that Hixon can squeeze buy LaFell and take the second starting spot.
Those are my thoughts on Hixon’s future, but what are yours? Please leave them in the comments below.