5 Carolina Panthers players with feast or famine prospects in 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

Speaking of feast or famine, that most definitely applies to Sam Darnold.

The Carolina Panthers acquired the quarterback via trade from the New York Jets this offseason. They are banking on the former No. 3 overall selection out of USC finally hitting expectations.

There isn’t much evidence to suggest Darnold is capable of this. His confidence clearly took a substantial hit during his three years at MetLife Stadium, which came as a result of poor talent around him and a coaching staff who were never really sold on his chances of forging a successful career.

Had the Panthers managed to get Matthew Stafford or Deshaun Watson, who knows where Darnold would be now. But one thing is for sure, this is a fantastic spot for the player and something he simply has to take advantage of.

Darnold’s career is on the line in 2021. Carolina did pick up his fifth-year option, but that doesn’t come with any sort of guarantee they won’t go in a different direction if he fails to meet some modest objectives.

The Panthers don’t need Darnold to be Cam Newton. If he can distribute the football efficiently and make the most out of some outstanding weapons at his disposal in the passing game, then more productivity is sure to follow.

However, should things continue sliding on a downward curve for Darnold, he can wave goodbye to any future starting hopes.