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Panthers 2022 season opener countdown: 88 days to go

We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off the 2022 season.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There are only 88 days left until the Panthers kick off the 2022 season, meaning it is time to take a look at 2021 second round pick, wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr.

Unlike Steve Smith from yesterday’s countdown piece, the former LSU standout has not yet found his footing in the NFL. The Panthers traded the No. 39 overall pick in the 2021 Draft’s second round to acquire an additional third round pick on top of the Bears second round pick at No. 52, while swapping a fifth round pick for a sixth round pick. Marshall’s familiarity with at-the-time offensive coordinator Joe Brady helped make the pick make sense, even with wideouts DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson comfortably filling out the top two starting spots at wide receiver.

Despite a promising preseason where Marshall flashed starter potential, the 6’2 former LSU standout managed to only log 17 receptions for 138 yards in 13 games played in 2022. Part of that can be attributed to some injury issues as Sam Darnold definitely threw Marshall at least a couple of “hospital passes” in 2021, some can be attributed to the Panthers passing offense as a whole becoming dysfunctional, as the offensive line turned out to be a major weakness and did no favors for Darnold as his play broke down over time.

I personally can give a pass to Marshall, and I am still high on him as a potential No. 2 receiver simply based on his skill set. However, Marshall wouldn’t be the first wide receiver drafted from an elite college program to fizzle out in the NFL, where they are no longer competing against teams that are clearly outmatched by the competition 90 percent of the time. He should have an easy track to potentially making an impact, as Brandon Zylstra and Rashard Higgins (signed this offseason) are the only players with significant NFL game experience. At this juncture, he should get a ton of reps in the offseason program, and I would hope he become best friends with wide receivers coach Joe Dailey to really push himself.

My projection is an improved year from Marshall, however I could see it still underwhelming many fans because it really all depends on who the quarterback ends up being, and how they perform behind an offensive line that is heavily improved on paper, but unproven at this juncture. Ben McAdoo’s offenses are generally quarterback friendly, so he will likely have a shot to produce as the No. 3 receiver early on as we watch the offense take shape.

What are your thoughts, Panthers fans? What do you expect in 2022 from Marshall? Share your thoughts down below!