Carolina’s Second Biggest Concern: Wide Receivers
It is no secret that in the last few seasons the Carolina Panthers have had a very large question mark when it came to the wide receivers. The wide receiver position, working like Robin with the quarterback being Batman, in today’s passing league has made the role of Robin bigger than ever.
The Carolina Panthers have not ignored obtaining depth with talent, but despite the NFL draft and free agent moves, they have yet to strike gold. The Carolina Panthers are not lost as they do have a few pieces that can make their wide receiver core at least decent.
We only say this is the Panther’s second-biggest offensive concern because of the offensive line, but we’ll get to that later on this week.
How Did the Panthers Wide Receivers Fare in 2018?
During the 2017 season, the Carolina Panthers parted ways with a draft hopeful that could now be considered a bust, Kelvin Benjamin, by trading him to the wideout depleted Buffalo Bills, leaving the receiving corps without a number-one option on the outside.
They got a fresh start in a unique way as the player with the most receiving yards came out of the backfield by running back, Christian McCaffrey, with 867 yards. That is an awesome stat for a running back, but not an awesome stat for the wide receiver core, as next best was D.J. Moore for 788 yards.
Carolina’s other wide receiver Devin Funchess was able to pull in 44 receptions on 79 targets for 549 yards but was not able to keep his billing as Carolina’s top target and left to play with the Colts this offseason.
What Has Carolina Done this Offseason to improve the Receiving Corps?
This offseason the Panthers have attacked the weak core with adding solid wide receiver Chris Hogan and drafting Terry Godwin, but these were undoubtedly not the moves that Panther fans were satisfied with.
Hogan could be the difference-maker for this Panthers team with the experience he gained while winning two super bowl rings with the Patriots. Torrey Smith, who for the past season battled injury and starting time, will have eyes
on him to make the impact the organization thought he would when they signed him.
Curtis Samuel, a fan favorite who has made some good progress his first two seasons in the league, is coming into his third season with more growth expected. He was up 3 percent in catch percentages from the year prior and got into the end zone 7 times vs none his first season.
Last season Samuel was consistent, however, the problem was his health and getting playing time. Despite only playing 13 games, while starting only 8 of them, his presence was noticed. Curtis caught 39 of 65 targets bringing in 494 yards and 5 touchdowns.
What to Expect from the Wide Receivers This Season
There is a bunch of potential and opportunities for wide receivers to take that next leap, but my bet is for Moore to truly come into form this upcoming season.
Moore will easily be the main wide receiver targeted this season, just as he was this past season, where he was targeted 82 times, trailing only McCaffrey for the team lead in targets. Moore, who is only 22 years old, had his best game last season in week 7 where he totaled up 157 yards, a touchdown, and catching 7 out of 8 targets.
Moore should see more targets as today’s NFL continues to become more of a passer league especially with the departure of Devin Funchess and another year in the system. One could predict that this season may be D.J. Moore’s first 1,000
-yard season and the start of his breaking out party.