5 quarterbacks the Carolina Panthers should avoid in 2023

(Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) Jimmy Garoppolo
(Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) Jimmy Garoppolo /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) Hendon Hooker /

Carolina Panthers should avoid Hendon Hooker

There was a lot to like about Hendon Hooker‘s production during his final college campaign in 2022. The quarterback made notable strides in key areas to lead Tennessee on a memorable run that even had them ranked No. 1 in the nation once upon a time, but a serious injury came at the worst moment imaginable and could have severe implications on his chances at the next level.

Hooker tore his ACL during the Volunteers’ game against South Carolina. This is expected to keep him out for a lengthy period and is sure to damage his draft stock after he surged up boards into potential first-round consideration.

The Carolina Panthers will likely go down the college route for their next quarterback. This will allow general manager Scott Fitterer to put a long-term plan in place, building around a rookie contract at a time when financial wiggle room is at a premium.

This injury changes the perception where Hooker is concerned. The Panthers can ill afford to wait and see if Hooker comes back at 100 percent, with the player’s age indicating he might not be fully ready to assume command under center until he’s 27 years old.

If Hooker doesn’t suffer an unfortunate stroke of luck, then Carolina might have examined his potential a little more closely. But if they’re picking in the top two as anticipated right now, then addressing this critical need early and worrying about the rest later is of paramount importance.