5 Carolina Panthers players set to shock the NFL world in 2021

(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr.
(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

Forget what you know about Sam Darnold. This is a fresh start for the quarterback and should be treated as a clean slate by everyone associated with the Carolina Panthers.

Fans have every right to feel a sense of dread regarding their new signal-caller. His time with the New York Jets almost dictates such a reaction.

But through all the doom and gloom there might just be some upside where Darnold is concerned. Although this obviously depends on how badly his confidence has been knocked following a disastrous three-year stint in New York.

Darnold has the arm strength to move the chains quickly. Something Teddy Bridgewater couldn’t quite get done in 2020.

He is also young enough to turn things around in the right environment. This is something he’s definitely found in Carolina, which boasts weapons in the passing game that Darnold has yet to experience in the NFL.

Some concerns remain about what sort of protection Darnold will be afforded by his offensive line. If they live up to or even exceed expectations, it’s hard to envisage a situation where the signal-caller falters.

Darnold has gotten some love from national media analysts regarding his chances of redemption on the Panthers. Whether this comes to fruition or not is highly debatable.

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Carolina has gambled their 2021 season on Darnold. If it comes off, then a potential playoff spot won’t be far behind.