7 key position battles to watch at Panthers training camp in 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brady Christensen
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brady Christensen /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /

Carolina Panthers QB2

  • P.J. Walker vs. Will Grier

Sam Darnold is the next quarterback tasked with filling the void left by Cam Newton. The Carolina Panthers gave up on Teddy Bridgewater after just one season and after an aggressive search for a better option, they eventually decided to part ways with three draft selections to prise the former USC star away from the New York Jets.

Whether Darnold can make a better go of things in Carolina will define their season. One thing is for sure, whoever is backing up the No. 3 overall selection in 2018 needs to be ready just in case.

P.J. Walker and Will Grier will once again fight it out in the coming weeks.

Both should also get the chance to see plenty of playing time in the preseason – something they didn’t have last summer. So this will tell the coaching staff more about what adjustments they’ve made in the months since the 2020 campaign came to a conclusion.

Walker won the primary backup job more often than not last season. He even got a win under his belt replacing an injured Bridgewater against the Detroit Lions.

Less is known about Grier, who endured a torrid time under center as a rookie in 2019 and the jury is still out as to whether he can be a productive signal-caller at the next level.

This will be interesting to watch, especially if Darnold goes through a rough transition when the pads go on.