Why Sam Darnold Will be Successful in 2021

Sam Darnold Panthers

Heading into the NFL‘s free agency period, the Carolina Panthers were expected to address their troubling situation at quarterback. The issue of what to do with the less-than-impressive veteran Teddy Bridgewater weighed heavy on the shoulders of the organization’s front office. Sitting with the eighth overall pick in the draft, many experts predicted the team would select one of the top quarterbacks left on the board. And, while rumors swirled linking the Panthers to a potential Deshaun Watson trade, Matt Rhule and company were busy laying the ground work for a move that no one would see coming.

When, just days before the draft, Carolina announced they had acquired Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold for future draft capital, it shocked many football purists. Rather than opt to start anew with their own franchise quarterback, the organization opted to take on somewhat of a project in Darnold. However, despite his worrisome struggles in the past, Darnold has a chance to have success in Carolina. According to reports, Darnold looks to be solidified as the team’s day one starter. So, let’s take a look at a few reasons why Sam Darnold will be successful in 2021.

Three Reasons Why Sam Darnold Will Be Successful with the Panthers

Improved Weapons

While Darnold’s weapons in New York were still NFL-caliber talents, there’s no question Darnold has better weapons in Carolina. Looking at the receiving core, it’s easily the best Darnold has ever had. Highlighted by D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, the Carolina receiving core is no joke. This group should easily help Darnold improve through the air.

On the flip side, Carolina’s offensive line should be good for Darnold. In theory, Darnold shouldn’t be forced to run for his life and will likely have a clean pocket a majority of the time. Couple in the Panthers’ incredible run game, led by Christian McCaffrey and the newly-acquired Chuba Hubbard, and Darnold has an all-star offensive cast. With all of this offensive talent surrounding Darnold, his numbers should certainly improve.

Offensive Coordinator That Favors His Skill Set

Before coming to Carolina, offensive coordinator Joe Brady won a national championship with the LSU Tigers. While at LSU, Brady helped develop Joe Burrow into the dominant quarterback he is today. With some luck, one can assume Brady will attempt to do the same with Darnold, who shares many of the characteristics also found in Burrow.

With an offensive coordinator who’s willing to build a scheme based on his strengths, Darnold should be on the path to success. Unlike in New York, the Carolina coaching staff has shown professionalism with their athletes and their development. If anyone can get the best out of Darnold, it’s Matt Rhule and Joe Brady.

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Front Office Dedicated To Him

For the first time as a head coach, Matt Rhule gets to bring is “his” guy. During trade talks, Rhule was said to have been in on the conversation and to have been supportive. With a front office and coaching staff committed to him and his success, Darnold is in a perfect situation. Unlike in New York, Darnold will have a committed group of executives who are willing to place as much talent around his as he needs to succeed.

On the flip side, Darnold’s success directly affects Matt Rhule’s legacy in Carolina. If Darnold ends up flaming out for Carolina, the organization will likely blame Rhule for not developing him correctly. With that in mind, Rhule will be hyper-motivated to make sure Darnold sees success early on. With all of that being said, there’s no reason Sam Darnold shouldn’t have success with the Carolina Panthers in 2021.

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