4 Carolina Panthers rookies who will help Sam Darnold shine in 2021

(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Which rookies on the Carolina Panthers could help quarterback Sam Darnold the most in 2021?

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Carolina Panthers have hung their hat on quarterback Sam Darnold turning his career around next season. The signal-caller got a supreme vote of confidence from the organization when they opted not to select Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft and there appears to be plenty in the way of talent around him to help the former No. 3 overall selection progress into a starting-caliber player at the position.

The New York Jets never afforded him such a luxury. But if Darnold fails to meet his objectives, it might spell an end to his chances of forging anything more than a backup role out of his career.

Head coach Matt Rhule has bet big on Darnold. Speaking to the Rich Eisen Show following the draft, he appears confident that the Panthers could be the perfect environment for the player.

"“We’re just trying to build the whole team and I just believe in Sam, I believe that he deserves the opportunity to go out and play with us. Now, we just have to make sure Sam’s a great player for us.”"

With this in mind, which Panthers rookies acquired during the 2021 NFL Draft could help Darnold the most next season?

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Caitlyn Jordan/Knoxville News via IMAGN images) Brady Christensen /

Brady Christensen – Carolina Panthers OT

Whether it’s at guard or left tackle, it would be a big surprise if Brady Christensen wasn’t starting for the Panthers as a rookie. The team obviously thinks plenty of the lineman after moving up in the third round to bring him to the organization and considering his level of production at BYU in 2020, there is plenty to like about his chances of making an immediate contribution.

Christensen might be lacking in length, but he more than makes up for this with supreme technique and athleticism. These are key traits of any successful edge protector at the next level and to say Carolina needs someone like this on their blindside would be something of an understatement.

If Christensen can protect the edge for Darnold in a similar fashion to what we saw from the player in college, it is going to be a tremendous asset to call upon.