It's no secret that the Carolina Panthers have one of the top receiving duos in the league with Robby Anderson and DJ Moore. The two both went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark in 2020 and are expected to gain a lot of attention from opposing defenses this fall.
To help alleviate some of that focus off of Anderson and Moore, the Panthers need to have a third receiver step up and make plays. Last years, Curtis Samuel excelled in this role which is why teams struggled to contain the Panthers' receivers. Who will fill in the void left behind by Samuel? There's three legit candidates. Let's dive in.
Moore makes the most logical sense considering that he has the most experience playing in the slot. He worked his way up the depth chart in Seattle and turned into the team's starter at the position. Moore accumulated 1,163 yards and 13 touchdowns on 78 receptions during his time in Seattle.
Smith is an explosive playmaker that could be one of the fastest receivers on the roster. Despite being a 6th round pick in this year's draft, he could play his way up the depth chart. He has a knack for finding the soft spots in the defense and exploiting them. Smith is a sharp route runner which will help him get on the field sooner than later. I would expect that he will primarily line up in the slot, making for a perfect Curtis Samuel replacement. Just don't expect 1,000 all-purpose yards from him as a rookie.
Terrace Marshall Jr.
Marshall brings a lot of size and length to a receiving corps that didn't have a lot of that a year ago. Marshall can line up just about anywhere but looks like a perfect fit at the 'X' spot. If he develops into a consistent, reliable target then it may force Joe Brady to move either Anderson or Moore inside to the slot in some packages. Regardless of where Marshall lines up, he has the ability to emerge into the team's third best receiver.
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