4 major observations from Baker Mayfield’s ninth Panthers practice
By Dean Jones
Baker Mayfield further separated himself in Carolina Panthers’ QB1 race
It was another efficient day for Sam Darnold, who got the chance to throw the football 28 times as the Carolina Panthers continue splitting reps between their top-two quarterbacks. Something that might provide further complications down the line and especially considering there appears to be a different aura whenever Baker Mayfield is under center.
Mayfield and Darnold were both counted with one interception on the day. Although in the Oklahoma product’s case, it can be attributed to D.J. Moore having the football wrestled away from his grasp by Myles Hartsfield rather than any poor distribution from the signal-caller.
Darnold’s pick was a different story.
The No. 3 overall selection in 2018 was also called for two delay of game penalties, which doesn’t install the greatest confidence that things are getting any better from a pre-snap recognition standpoint despite additional time to learn Ben McAdoo’s system earlier this offseason.
Mayfield had some misses, but there was a lot of purpose to his time on the field – especially with the first string. This has all but cemented his status as the team’s No. 1 as training camp draws to a conclusion in the coming days.
The Panthers aren’t ready to admit it just yet. But there is a clear gap in production between Mayfield and Darnold, both from their time in practice so far and what each has demonstrated when it counts during their respective careers.