Carolina Panthers QB Baker Mayfield must improve pocket awareness
One of the big things that have stood out where Baker Mayfield is concerned throughout Week 1 of the team’s training camp is his willingness to get the football downfield quickly. There appears to be far more urgency to his distribution under center than the Carolina Panthers experienced in 2021 when Sam Darnold was running things, which could benefit the offense if certain kinks get worked out before the regular season.
Mayfield is a known risk taker. It’s picking and choosing when to do this that will ultimately determine whether this trade becomes a success when competitive action begins.
Having awareness in the pocket and reacting accordingly is an area that Mayfield can improve. He has the mobility to get creative and make things happen, but we should know more about his capabilities in this area when the pads go on.
Pressure will be coming despite the expected offensive line improvements. Having Christian McCaffrey alongside Mayfield will also help the Oklahoma product an untold amount providing the All-Pro stays free of injury.
How Mayfield sees the field pre-snap and when plays develop will be crucial in the coming days. If he can live up to expectations, improve pocket awareness, and make the right decisions, then the Panthers might be onto something in 2022.