4 experiments the Carolina Panthers could cut short in 2024

The Carolina Panthers are hoping some big gambles reap rewards in 2024.
Shy Tuttle
Shy Tuttle / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Jonathan Mingo

Jonathan Mingo didn't hit the ground running as a rookie. Big things were expected of the wide receiver despite many analysts believing he was taken too high during the 2023 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, he didn't deliver.

Mingo had difficulty creating separation against NFL-caliber cornerbacks who shut him down considerably. His route-running wasn't crisp, there was a lack of explosiveness out of his route stems, and the ball skills left a lot to be desired more often than not.

It's not as if the former Ole Miss star wasn't provided opportunities to shine. Mingo got 83 targets throughout the campaign, 43 of which he brought in for 418 receiving yards, no touchdowns, and a disappointing 54.9 passer rating when targeted. This was an unmitigated disaster in no uncertain terms.

The previous coaching regime deserves its fair share of blame, so writing off Mingo after just one season is foolish. Dave Canales will have a better plan in place to maximize the obvious athletic attributes at the player's disposal. However, the Carolina Panthers increased urgency by providing additional competition to the wide receiver room this offseason.

Diontae Johnson was acquired via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers, who is one of the slickest route-runners around and should be highly motivated in a contract year. The Panthers also drafted Xavier Leggette at No. 32 overall and picked up Jalen Coker as an undrafted free agent. This gives them contingency plans and potential upgrades if Mingo cannot take his game to new heights.

Mingo would have to regress significantly to not get his fair share of targets. But looking at the depth chart as it stands, one could make a strong case for him being the No. 4 option behind Johnson, Legette, and savvy veteran Adam Thielen.

If Mingo cannot meet loftier expectations and learn from his indifferent rookie season, Morgan and Canales won't hesitate to go in a different direction with no sentiment attached.