3 Panthers Veterans Fighting for Their Jobs After 2022 NFL Draft
The Carolina Panthers were one of the teams to watch at the 2022 NFL Draft following four seasons without a playoff appearance. They walked away from the event with six new rookies, hoping that they can help build a better future.
Some of the Panthers' new first-year players certainly have the talent to challenge for a roster spot as soon as next season. If the rookies developed as planned, some Carolina veterans could be on the hot seat while attempting to hold on to their jobs.
Here's a look at three Panthers veterans who are fighting for their jobs after the 2022 NFL Draft.
Carolina Panthers Roster Rumors
1. Sam Darnold, QB
The Panthers had high hopes that Sam Darnold could rebound last season. Even though it didn't go as planned, the 24-year-old gunslinger still sits atop the quarterback depth chart. It might not be that way for long, though, now that Carolina drafted former Ole Miss QB Matt Corral. Is Corral as NFL-ready as someone like Kenny Pickett? Probably not, but it isn't like Darnold has done anything to lock down the starting job. If Corral has a strong camp, head coach Matt Rhule may have to think twice about Darnold as the starter.
2. Julian Stanford, OLB
Veteran journeyman Julian Stanford has been Shaq Thompson's backup over the last few seasons but has played most of his snaps on special teams. Now that the Panthers added former Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith through the draft, Stanford's job might not be safe. The Panthers traded two picks to move up in the fourth round to select Smith, so it's clear that they think he's special. He is a project though and will likely see most of his playing time next season on special teams, which could result in a loss of playing time for Stanford. Add in the fact that Smith's ceiling as Thompson's backup is likely higher and Stanford could be fighting for his job in the coming months.
3. Dennis Daley, OG
Even though offensive guard Dennis Daley isn't slated to be a starter, his job as a backup isn't safe. Carolina added former Tennessee offensive lineman Cade Mays at the draft. Mays played five different positions in college, but projects to be a guard or center by most experts. He also only surrendered one sack on 493 offensive snaps last season with the Volunteers, compared to Daley, who gave up three sacks on 573 snaps. Furthermore, Daley has discipline issues after taking nine penalties last season, which is something the Panthers can't have if they want to improve. With Mays' versatility already earning him bonus points with the coaching staff, Daley must do everything he can to secure his job.
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