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Panthers Beat Reporter Has Surprising Pick for Team’s WR1

According to a report by Sheena Quick, Terrace Marshall could end up being the WR1 on the 2023 Carolina Panthers.
Terrace Marshall

The Carolina Panthers invested a lot into the wide receiver position over the past few months, but one beat reporter believes that all these new faces won’t be able to usurp Terrace Marshall as the top target in the passing attack. After a disappointing rookie season, Marshall started to show some signs of life in the back half of 2022 and has reportedly impressed early in training camp.

Report: Terrace Marshall Could Be Panthers WR1 In 2023

Third-Year Breakout?

The Carolina Panthers have changed just about everything involving their offense over the past few months. After parting ways with all of their quarterbacks, the team traded DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears for the right to select Bryce Young with the first-overall pick.

Young is a good prospect, but no rookie is ready to succeed without a solid group of wide receivers. The team added Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark in free agency before selecting Jonathan Mingo in the second round, but early reports indicate that all three players are behind incumbent starter Terrace Marshall.

Normally, players like Marshall have a natural advantage since they’ve already had time to learn the playbook, are familiar with the coaching staff, and have developed chemistry with the starting quarterback. However, none of those factors are true for Marshall. Carolina has a brand new coaching staff and quarterback room, so Marshall is genuinely beating out the competition, and reports indicate that he won’t give up the starting job any time soon.

Can Terrace Marshall Be the WR1?

As is always the case this time of year, you should never put too much stock into any individual report. The NFL offseason has conducted many unjustified hype trains in the past, and there is a chance that Terrace Marshall never lives up to this report. However, based on how he ended the season, there is a chance he makes the fabled third-year leap.

Terrace Marshall finished the 2022 season with a relatively pedestrian 28 receptions for 490 yards and one touchdown, but it’s worth noting that most of his production came after the Robbie Anderson trade. From Weeks 7-18, the LSU product averaged 41.8 yards per game while hauling in passes from the incredibly underwhelming trio of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and PJ Walker. While he was never much of a target machine, he made the most of the looks he received and finished the year with a 67.7 PFF grade, making him the 56th-best receiver out of 113 eligible players.

These metrics imply that Terrace Marshall belongs in the NFL, although he probably won’t ever be a true WR1 like D.J. Moore. Chances are, Marshall, Thielen, Chark, and Mingo will all finish with a similar number of targets, as each one of the aforementioned players lacks the skills to be a true target hog. However, there is strength in numbers, and each one of these guys should be able to be an important cog in the offensive machine. While nobody will be confusing the 2023 Carolina Panthers with the 2007 New England Patriots, Bryce Young should have enough pieces to succeed.

Main Photo: Bob Donnan – USA Today Sports


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