The Carolina Panthers have been a tough team to gauge over the past few seasons, as they were really good, making it to the Super Bowl, and then really bad in 2016. However, they bounced back in a big way last season, being one of the three NFC South teams to make the playoffs, as quarterback Cam Newton was finally healthy again.
Heading into 2018, Newton will be back under center for the Panthers, but he will have some new faces to get used to in the offense. The Panthers brought in Torrey Smith from the Philadelphia Eagles at wide receiver, and then went out and drafted Maryland wideout D.J. Moore in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
In addition to those two guys, Devin Funchess and Curtis Samuel will be back in 2018, giving Newton a couple guys he is comfortable throwing to. Funchess had a breakout season in 2017, and in 2018, it could be Samuel’s time to finally reach his potential as an elite playmaker in the NFL.
Samuel had an injury plagued rookie season in 2017, and failed his physical when the team got to training camp this past week. Still, the team will hold him back as more of a precaution, and the hope is he can develop into the kind of player they were hoping he would when they selected him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
The speedy Samuel can get it done whether through the air, or on the ground, and with a bunch of talent at the wide receiver group, he could be a guy who plays a huge role in this offense in year two. He just needs to get healthy first.