5 exciting Carolina Panthers storylines to watch in 2022 training camp

(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield
(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /
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Carolina Panthers
(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Carolina Panthers QB competition

This seems to be the obvious choice of all the storylines. Who will win the starting quarterback job?

The Carolina Panthers go into training camp with three legitimate players to be on the 53-man roster at the start of the regular season. Sam Darnold, rookie Matt Corral, and the recently acquired Baker Mayfield.

It is a given that the No. 94 overall selection in the 2022 draft will be sitting this season. Corral can adjust to the speed of the NFL, learn the playbook, and develop his skillset at a comfortable pace.

The battle to monitor comes down to Darnold and Mayfield. Both are in the final season of their current contracts and with plenty of questions about their long-term aspirations.

Mayfield was selected as the top overall pick in 2018 while Darnold, a USC product, was just minutes behind as the No. 3 selection.

Neither career has lived up to the lofty expectations of such a high selection. But these two are probably trending in opposite directions.

Mayfield is essentially playing for the starting job long-term in Carolina while simultaneously auditioning for any needy teams in 2023 if the Panthers don’t feel he is the right fit.

At the same time, Darnold’s trajectory is veering towards a backup role, with a clipboard in hand, ready to spell a starter the moment an injury occurs.

It is not a given that Mayfield will be the starter after the recent trade with the Cleveland Browns. Expect a legitimate battle during camp, but this seems to be an easy call going into Week 1.