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Carolina’s Biggest NFL Draft Needs in 2022

The Panthers have had a promising start to the season, but now find themselves in the top 10 for the 2022 NFL Draft order.

Although Matt Rhule’s Panthers are currently in the mix of away teams watching when it comes to the NFC’s playoff picture, there’s a chance they’ll get there. However, let’s say things end up looking the way they do now. That would mean that at the end of the 2021 campaign, the Panthers would go four straight years missing the playoffs, the last being in 2017.

Carolina started the season 3-0 and they got the buzz early. Since then, their fans have been on a roller coaster of emotions as they have lost seven of their last nine games. Sam Darnold’s impressive start was a nice sight to see until he began to be humiliated by numerous defenses and eventually landed on injured reserve with a shoulder problem.

Their superstar, running back Christian McCaffrey, was on the verge of becoming the best player of the year, but he injured his ankle, which caused him to miss the rest of the season. Now people are questioning the decision to pay ‘Run-CMC’ a four-year, $64 million contract last year.

On top of that, offensive coordinator Joe Brady was recently fired while overseeing their inconsistent offense that ends up in the basement when it comes to total offensive yards per game rating. Did I mention Cam Newton’s return? Well yes, the man widely regarded as the greatest Panther of all time is back after not being signed for the first half of the season.

Despite the Panthers sitting 5-7, there’s still hope in Charlotte that this team can find its way to the playoffs. If they wish to achieve this, their defense will remain the main objective. Carolina’s defense ranks second in the league in yards per game (290.9), total yards allowed (3,491) and passing yards allowed (2,120). The defensive side of the ball has been the silver lining for a side that seem to keep heading in the wrong direction, especially given how they’ve started to turn heads in 2021.

Nonetheless, due to the way things have gone for the Panthers, they would pick in the top 10 in the 2022 NFL Draft. It’s still pretty early to tell, but if Carolina fails to overturn the steam to make a playoff bid, that’s where she could focus when it comes to the draft.

First shopping cart project: OL, QB