What can the Panthers expect from Terrace Marshall Jr. in 2022?

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr.
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /

What can the Carolina Panthers expect from wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. during his second professional campaign in 2022? 

It was a surprise to see the Carolina Panthers ignore their need for offensive line help and select Terrace Marshall Jr. at No. 59 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, there was a huge amount of intrigue surrounding what the wide receiver could potentially bring to the franchise after a productive spell in college at LSU.

Hopes grew higher for Marshall following some impressive performances in the preseason. But this did not transition as anyone expected once the real action began during a disappointing campaign overall from the player.

Marshall found life difficult against truly elite cornerbacks every week. Inconsistent quarterback production didn’t help his cause, but for the wideout to secure just 17 receptions from 30 targets for 138 receiving yards was poor from someone that turned out in 13 games and was on the field for 48 percent of the Panthers‘ offensive snaps.

Carolina’s coaching staff even took the decision to declare Marshall a healthy scratch for their game at the Miami Dolphins. Another big indicator that things were not going smoothly during his first season at the pro level.

Obviously, the Panthers are not going to give up on Marshall so early into his career. They invested a lot in the receiver and will be doing all they can to maximize his exceptional physical attributes this offseason.

Terrace Marshall Jr. can be a useful weapon for the Carolina Panthers in 2022

This was probably a rude awakening for Marshall, who had a nice ride with the Tigers working in plenty of space thanks to the presence of Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase among others. How he responds in 2022 is going to tell us plenty about the player’s resolve and what fans can expect from him long-term.

The Panthers have their two starting wide receivers in D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. An improved offensive line should also make things a little easier for whoever is under center.

Ben McAdoo’s appointment as offensive coordinator is another element that could help Marshall grow. His physicality and wide catch radius should make him a useful weapon to call upon across the middle and in the red zone, which would be a significant upgrade on anything he displayed as a rookie.

What comes next is down to Marshall, in all honesty.

The challenge awaiting him in the coming weeks is a steep one. Hopefully, the second-year-pro will put last season’s experiences to good use and make the necessary adjustments to become more of a factor.

From a physical standpoint, Marshall has it all. He is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, after all, so the player should be a matchup nightmare providing he brushes up his route-running tree and becomes more consistent catching the football in key moments.

If Marshall can do these things and earn the trust of McAdoo along the way, then it should see a substantial upturn in numbers next time around. Something that would be welcome for an offense that did have some real complications in the passing game outside of Moore in 2021.

Every little will help the Panthers. And it’s going to take a collective effort in pursuit of getting this organization back on the right path.

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Marshall has the gifts. But it is absolutely vital for the wideout to make a much bigger impression when competitive action commences this fall.