3 Carolina Panthers players primed for a breakout season in 2024

Things are looking up for these Carolina Panthers players.
Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Jonathan Mingo - Carolina Panthers WR

If Bryce Young gets a pass for a rookie campaign that won't live long in the memory, Jonathan Mingo should also get the same courtesy. It wasn't his fault the Carolina Panthers took him sooner than expected in the 2023 NFL Draft. It certainly wasn't his fault that the coaching staff had no idea how to utilize his impressive physical attributes to their advantage.

That said, some concerning factors to Mingo's production cannot be overlooked. The former Ole Miss standout struggled to create separation consistently. He also suffered from concentration issues and lacked confidence against NFL-caliber opposition. While it was frustrating when one considers how other rookie wideouts taken much lower thrived, all hope is not lost.

Nobody is saying he doesn't need to make drastic improvements this offseason. The Panthers were well within their right to increase competition in the receiver room with Diontae Johnson, Xavier Legette, and perhaps even undrafted free agent Jalen Coker. This raises the stakes for Mingo in pursuit of getting extended targets under new head coach Dave Canales.

Mingo has the size, speed, and athleticism needed to contribute. Canales must find a way to put his attributes to better use within an expansive scheme that could be more dependent on the running game than ever before. The onus is also on the wideout to level no doubt Carolina made the right call at No. 39 overall last spring.

This is a clean slate for Mingo, Young, and anyone else still around who didn't meet expectations last season thanks in no small part to the previous regime's incompetence. The pass-catcher is looking the part during early workouts, but that will count for nothing if he cannot raise performance levels when the pads go on in more competitive settings.

If Mingo proves himself this offseason enough to feature prominently within Canales' scheme, brighter days might be ahead. Anything less would raise more questions about his long-term aspirations in Carolina.