Since the 2023 NFL season is coming up, I figured it was time to look back at the 2022 QB Carousel that the Panthers had and see who remains/what has acquired since. First, we will look at the QBs that were a part of the carousel and then talk about the additions made.
2022 Panthers QB’s on the Carousel
The 2018 first-overall pick was brought over from the Clevland Browns. In that trade, Carolina gave up a 2024 conditional 5th-round draft pick. He was supposed to be the QB (there was a time Panthers fans thought he would be good). His time with Carolina could be best described as the 2022 Denver Broncos.
On December 5th, 2022, it was announced that the Carolina Panthers released Baker Mayfield. Three days later, Baker signed with the Los Angeles Rams, where he would go 22-for-35 with 250 yards and one touchdown, then just faded into obscurity so much that he would go on to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC South fans' cheers can be heard in the distance). No, he is on his fourth NFL team and competing against Kyle Trask.
The 2018 third-overall pick had been with the Panthers since 2021. He had an impressive stretch during the regular season. Sadly, he was released by the Panthers. That stretch was impressive enough for Darnold to land with the San Fransico 49ers (where he is reunited with RB Christian McCaffery), which Darnold played well during the 2023 preseason. He can be QB1 if Purdy is not ready to go for Week 1. Bearded Darnold almost led Carolina to the playoffs.
He's one of the most what-if Carolina draft picks in recent memory. Carolina waived the 2022 94th overall pick in the 2023 off-season. The Panthers intended to sign him to the practice squad. However, he did not clear waivers and was claimed by the New England Patriots. In New England, Corral is QB2 (only about five preseason games of NFL experience) behind Mac Jones. No one knows how Corral can look with a series of game reps. He does have potential with the right coaching and weapons around him.
The 2020 XFL legend has been with the Panthers since 2020. In 2022, he had one of the best plays in a while for the Panthers against the Falcons in Week 8. Then, he would go on to destroy them on Thursday night football in Week 10. Walker was surprisingly let go during the off-season. He went on to spend time in the Chicago Bears (The Carolina Panthers' wanna-be’s) training camp and was released. But luckily, he was able to sign with the Browns practice squad. Walker will now get an opportunity with his third team this off-season.
Since every QB from the 2022 season is gone, and with other NFL teams, two new quarterbacks have been brought in. One Rookie, One Veteran. Let’s start with the Veteran.
The Veteran Andy Dalton:
Former Saints QB Andy Dalton was brought in as a veteran option for their rookie QB. Dalton played decent last season. He threw for 2,871 yards, 18 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Andy was brought in as sort of a mentor (along with QB coach Josh McCown). Dalton has been in the league since 2011 (12 years in the NFL). He was with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2011 to 2019; then he went to the Dallas Cowboys, then to the Chicago Bears, then to the New Orleans Saints, and finally landed with Carolina this past off-season.
The Rookie Bryce Young:
The Carolina Panthers possessed the number overall pick from Chicago (with a trade that consisted of D.J Moore and a bout load of picks). They selected Bryce Young from Alabama (boy, was I wrong with that prediction that Carolina would take C.J. Stroud. Young has looked great in not only training camp but preseason games, and in his last one versus the Detroit Lions, he even scored his first touchdown (a pass to Adam Thielen). Young seems to be the real deal in Charlotte.
The QB room looks completely different. The main reason is the coaching changes; from Nebraska HC Matt: “It took Jay-Z seven years” Rhule to interim head coach Steve Wilks (who arguably deserved the Head Coach job) to now Frank Reich. The Panthers seem to have an All-star staff of former players and coaching legends on paper. However, on paper, it does not always translate to reality. Nevertheless, suppose Carolina can look like they did during the first set of drives in the last preseason game versus the Lions. In that case, they will be in an excellent position to not only possibly get a playoff spot but win the weakest division in the NFL, the NFC South.