Which Carolina Panthers players not named Sam Darnold are under the most pressure to perform during the 2022 season?
It’s hard to look at Sam Darnold’s situation with any sort of confidence next season. The Carolina Panthers took a big swing last spring to bring him on board from the New York Jets, but this didn’t end up becoming the answer to an ongoing quarterback riddle holding the organization back.
Darnold is the starter right now, according to head coach Matt Rhule. But a lot can happen before the Panthers take the field at Bank of America Stadium against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1.
If those in power decide to go with someone else, Darnold can have no complaints. But there are some others on the team that also enter the upcoming campaign under the microscope.
With this in mind, here are four Panthers players not named Darnold under the most pressure in 2022.
Player No. 1
Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB
Now that Donte Jackson is getting paid like a No. 1 cornerback, there is an enormous amount of pressure on his shoulders. The Carolina Panthers paced a significant amount of faith in the former second-round pick this offseason and will want to see an immediate return on their investment.
Having Jaycee Horn back to full health alongside Jackson will help. But the onus will also be on the LSU product to continue progressing, emerging as a leader, and staying free of injuries in 2022.
If Jackson can tick all these boxes, then the corner could be in for his best season yet.