4 burning questions Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 18 at Saints

(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /

Is Terrace Marshall Jr. the future Carolina Panthers WR2?

Is TMJ our #2 WR or are we still searching for next year? – Eric

I think this is a great time to answer this question, Eric, considering that we’re at the end of the season and there is nothing to play for.

I’m going to go ahead and answer this question. Yes, I believe Terrace Marshall Jr. is the Carolina Panthers’ No. 2 wide receiver moving forward. Though, I believe that adding another playmaker to the position should be a priority somewhat.

It was criminal how Matt Rhule kept this talented young man on the bench and in street clothes for the first quarter of the season. This led fans to believe that his time in Carolina was already at a close.

Following Rhule’s firing, the former LSU star began to finally showcase why he could be a potential second-round steal from the 2021 NFL Draft.

Marshall offers high-level ball skills. He’s a big-bodied receiver and it’s shown this season. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, he showed his vertical ability and the skills to win contested catches at a consistent rate. The wideout demonstrated improvement as a route runner and will bully corners at the line of scrimmage.

There is still room for growth. But Marshall’s play offers optimism for potential success in 2023 with a new offensive coordinator and quarterback.

With that said, the Panthers need to pursue adding a true slot receiver that can create yards after the catch and be a reliable security blanket in the short and intermediate areas of the field. Shi Smith hasn’t lived up to the preseason hype and I don’t think Laviska Sheanult Jr. should be in this role full-time.

There will be plenty of options in free agency and the draft this offseason. Day 3 could offer some sneaky-good talent such as Maryland’s Rakim Jarrett, Houston’s Nathaniel Dell, Michigan’s Ronnie Bell, and Nebraska’s Trey Palmer.