5 Carolina Panthers who cannot afford to get complacent in 2024

These Carolina Panthers players must keep their foot on the gas.
Shaq Thompson
Shaq Thompson / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Bryce Young - Carolina Panthers QB

After a rookie season that descended into chaos, quarterback Bryce Young has no room whatsoever for complacency moving forward. The Carolina Panthers made a huge investment in the quarterback this offseason, spending vast resources on fortifying the offensive line and enhancing the skill positions. Couple this with the appointment of head coach Dave Canales, and it's not hard to see why hopes for a bounce-back are high.

Young is drawing rave reviews for his work ethic, willingness to learn, and how quickly he's picking up Canales' schematic concepts over early workouts. The Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama is off to a promising start, but keeping up this positivity throughout the offseason is paramount in pursuit of hitting the ground running in 2024.

The Panthers placed everything around Young this offseason. They've done their part, it's now up to the signal-caller to repay this faith and prove why he was worthy of being the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

While hopes are high for Young, the jury is still out until we see him in a competitive setting. Anything less than major improvements with an enhanced supporting cast is going to further raise concerns about whether Carolina made the right call from atop last year's college selection process.

Chuba Hubbard - Carolina Panthers RB

Chuba Hubbard was one of the rare shining lights for the Carolina Panthers last season. He seized the initiative when introduced into the starting lineup once veteran running back Miles Sanders went down through injury. The former fourth-round selection out of Oklahoma State shouldered a heavy burden and went over 1,000 all-purpose yards for the first time in his career.

This was another impressive campaign from Hubbard, continuing his rise to prominence after being all but written off following a rookie campaign that exposed some serious flaws. While this is positive heading into the final year of his deal, the Panthers raised the stakes by trading up to land Jonathon Brooks at No. 46 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Brooks is coming off an ACL tear and might not be 100 percent to start the campaign. The Texas product should get plenty of reps when fully healthy, which makes it vital for Hubbard to start the season well and leave no doubt as to his importance moving forward.

There is plenty of competition for places with Raheem Blackshear and Rashaad Penny also looking to establish themselves under the new regime. Dave Canales plans to run the football heavily, so the options are plentiful if Hubbard cannot make additional strides with the added motivation of a new deal on the horizon.