3 realistic targets for Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold in 2021

(Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

What are some realistic targets that quarterback Sam Darnold in 2021 as he looks to make a bigger impression after being traded to the Carolina Panthers?

It was an aggressive and prolonged search for a new quarterback this offseason for the Carolina Panthers. Teddy Bridgewater’s lack of conviction in critical moments forced the organization to look at better alternatives, with a failed bid to land Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions and the obvious infatuation with Deshaun Watson taking a concerning turn that made him a risky acquisition among some of the strong indicators the team was willing to do whatever it takes to get an upgrade.

With the prospect of Carolina ending up with a top quarterback coming from the college ranks looking bleak once the San Francisco 49ers moved up to No. 3, they eventually decided to pull the trigger on a trade for Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. This represents a feast or famine move that’s cost them three draft picks over the next two years, with those in power betting on the former USC star getting a new lease of life in a structured environment.

Carolina Panthers will be back to square one if Sam Darnold fails.

If Darnold can prove he was simply a product of his environment in New York, then this will be a shrewd move from the Panthers. If things continue to regress from the player’s perspective, then it will be back to square one after another swing and a miss.

Not exactly the best way to build a winning franchise. But they simply couldn’t go into the 2021 campaign with Bridgewater as their No. 1 option.

Providing the Panthers get a franchise left tackle and an exciting tight end during the draft, then everything will be in place for Darnold to succeed. Here are three realistic targets the signal-caller could aim for during his first year under center.