Carolina Panthers 2019 Position Review: Wide Receivers
Despite the Carolina Panthers having a revolving door at the quarterback position in 2019, the wide receiver unit held up to their end of the bargain as best as they could. While the unit still has plenty of room for growth, there is a lot of promise for the future with D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. However, for this group to take the "next step", they'll need to grow chemistry with one quarterback and one that can stay healthy. Certainly, the Panthers best hope would be to have Cam Newton return for the final year of his contract and avoid injuries. Regardless of who the quarterback is for next year and beyond, the Panthers have some intriguing young weapons to build around.
Analysis: Moore has proven himself as someone Carolina can build the offense around just two years into his NFL career. He emerged as a go-to target in 2019 and if he continues to develop at this rapid pace, he will be a Pro Bowler in no time. The Panthers need to do everything in their power to keep the former first round pick as a building block for the future.
2019 Stats: 87 receptions, 1,175 yards and four touchdowns.
Contract: Four years, $11.1 million (rookie contract, will become unrestricted free agent in 2023).
Analysis: The former 2017 2nd round pick hasn't lived quite up to expectations, but has shown his versatility in the running game and on kickoff returns. Expect Samuel to make a huge leap in 2020 with another year of experience under his belt.
2019 Stats: 54 receptions, 627 yards and six touchdowns.
Contract: Four years, $6.4 million (rookie contract, will become unrestricted free agent in 2021).
Analysis: He's never been a number one or two option in the passing game at the NFL level, but he does provide a good option in the rotation. His first year in Carolina went much better than what he produced on the field in 2019. Wright's catch rate dropped from 72.9% in 2018 to 48.3% in 2019. There may be better options in free agency and I'm not so sure the Panthers mind going in a different direction.
2019 Stats: 28 receptions, 296 yards and zero touchdowns.
Contract: Three years, $4.2 million (contract has expired, Wright has become an unrestricted free agent).
Analysis: The jury is still out on whether or not Zylstra can develop into a third or fourth option in the passing game at the NFL level. In 2019, he only appeared in eight games and wasn't much of a factor.
2019 Stats: Eight receptions, 146 yards and zero touchdowns.
Contract: Three years, $1.7 million (will become a restricted free agent in 2021).
Analysis: The seasoned veteran spent most of his NFL career being one of Tom Brady's targets during their many Super Bowl runs. Hogan hasn't been able to stay on the field the last three years or so, which has caused his numbers to drop drastically. If he can return to form, he could certainly help the younger receivers mold their game.
2019 Stats: Eight receptions for 67 yards and zero touchdowns
Contract: One year, $1.4 million (contract has expired, Hogan has become an unrestricted free agent).
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