Take more risks down the field
The Carolina Panthers need to average more yards per attempt in 2018. They ranked No. 23 in the National Football League with 6.6 yards per pass attempt in 2017.
They can certainly accomplish this. Last year, the depth at the wide receiver position in particular was very thin. Combine that with trading away Kelvin Benjamin in October and the offense had a ton of moving parts.
How do you get more yards per pass attempt? You throw the ball down the field. This offseason, general manager Marty Hurney made sure to grab Cam Newton some receivers that could go up and get it. Torrey Smith was one of them and although he may not have what he used to in terms of skillset, Smith can still be a viable option down the field. He caught 36 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns in 2017. Although those may not be eye-popping numbers, the fact that he averaged 11.9 yards per catch is. For his career, he averages 16.9 yards per catch.
In April, Marty Hurney took a risk and drafted D.J. Moore. He is the epitome of a downfield threat and has the athleticism to not only go up and get the football, but break for big gains after the catch. Moore is the future of the Carolina Panthers receiving core and should have a great shot to make an impact in his rookie year.
A healthy Curtis Samuel and an athletic Devin Funchess should help spread the field as well. They have the talent to average at least seven yards per attempt and there is no reason why they can’t. This is something the team needs to work on in 2018 if they want to keep up with the offensive-minded National Football League.