Three Carolina Panthers rookies who stepped up in 2018
DJ Moore. Remember the name. With some of the performances he put on during the 2018 season, he made it hard for football fans casual and avid to forget him. When he was given playing time, he really put on a show. He showed he had deep-threat ability and his speed made it difficult for defenders to tackle him.
Throughout the season, he had stretches where he would show that brilliance during the game, but he never got a full contest to show what he was made of until week 11. In a tough defeat against the Detroit Lions, Moore was one of the few bright spots. He caught seven passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. Those were all season-highs. He would record his highest receiving rating of the season with an 89.5 mark as he went toe-to-toe with the Lions wideout Kenny Golladay.
His performance against the Baltimore Ravens also showed a little of what he could do. He caught five passes for 90 yards, averaging 18 yards per catch and recording 40 yards after the catch. His speed is undeniable and that is perhaps the most important component of his playmaking ability.
He is not the biggest receiver in the world. At 5-foot-11, he is certainly on the shorter side of wideouts. He also proved to be very sure-handed, dropping only four passes all year. Although he certainly has some things to improve on, the rookie made a great first impression and show that he could be a key component of the passing attack for years to come. The Panthers ave been looking for that playmaker at the wide receiver position since the departure of Steve Smith, and they may have found it here in Moore. He should be a bigger part of the passing offense in year two, and if him and Cam Newton can find good chemistry, it could be a long year for defenders.