Grading Panthers position groups on offense after 2022 NFL Draft

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Tim Kimzey/Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) D.J. Moore /

Carolina Panthers WRs

Coming off yet another 1,000-yard season, D.J. Moore leads the way for a wide receiver room that, aside from the aforementioned, was a massive disappointment in 2021.

Moore is an elite receiver, there is no question about that. If the star player can rack up those kinds of stats with the subpar and varied quarterbacks that have been on the other side of that tandem then what might he be capable of with a competent passing attack?

After Moore however, is where things dropped off considerably for the Carolina Panthers in 2021.

Robby Anderson looked every bit the part of a solid No. 2 option during his first season in Carolina, leveraging that into an extension that did not pay off, to say the least. The former Temple standout struggled mightily with drops, rarely got open, and was seen getting into multiple sideline altercations throughout the year – ending with just half of the numbers accumulated in 2020.

Speaking of drops and not getting open, Terrace Marshall Jr. is the team’s third option. The LSU product couldn’t buy separation and even when he found himself with open grass, the hands just weren’t up to the required NFL standard.

The wideout was even benched in Week 12 for that subpar performance. This is also without mentioning the injury struggles that limited Marshall even further than that.

On the bright side of things, Brandon Zylstra was a nice surprise. Especially late in the year, you cannot expect a bubble player to make a huge impact even with an increased role well within his capabilities.

The Panthers did bring in Rashard Higgins in an interesting move that could pay huge dividends especially if Marshall continues to struggle as the former Cleveland Brown has a very similar skillset and has proven to be a reliable third option – even step up to No. 2 when needed.

But with that said, Higgins might not be able to move the needle all that much.

Position Grade: C

This is every bit a case of the group weighing down the individual. If this grade was solely on the shoulders of Moore, it would be an easy A.

However, the players behind the superstar severely drag this group down. Unless there isn’t some magic revival or second-year leap, we should get used to seeing Moore struggle through double teams game after game.