Ranking The 5 Worst NFL Rosters Entering 2022 Season | Bleacher Report

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QB: Sam Darnold

RB: Christian McCaffrey

WR: DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, Terrace Marshall Jr.

TE: Tommy Tremble

OL: Ikem Ekwonu (LT), Pat Elflein (LG), Bradley
Bozeman (C), Austin Corbett (RG), Taylor Moton (RT)

DL: Yetur Gross-Matos (DE), Derrick Brown (DT), Matt
Ioannidis (DT), Brian Burns (DE)

LB: Shaq Thompson, Damien Wilson, Cory Littleton

CB: Donte Jackson, Jaycee Horn

S: Jeremy Chinn, Xavier Woods

To be fair, it’s not all doom and gloom where the roster for
the Carolina Panthers is concerned.

When he’s healthy, Christian McCaffrey is one of the most dangerous running backs in the NFL. Wide receiver DJ Moore has eclipsed 1,100 receiving yards in each of the past three seasons.

Edge-rusher Brian Burns is a talented youngster with nine sacks each of the past two years. If cornerback Jaycee Horn can rebound from an injury-plagued rookie season, a Carolina pass defense that ranked fourth in the NFL last year in yards allowed could be even better.

And yet, the Panthers were a five-win, last-place team in
2021, and expectations aren’t much higher in 2022.

That “when healthy” caveat for McCaffrey is a massive one. He has played in just 10 games the past two years. With McCaffrey out last year, any semblance of offensive balance went out the window—Carolina was 20th in the league in rushing last year, which put immense pressure on Sam Darnold to move the ball through the air behind the NFC’s worst offensive line in 2021 according to Pro Football Focus.

“Immense pressure” and “Sam Darnold” worked out as well as you’d think. Darnold finished his first year in Carolina 28th in the league in passing yards, 30th in completion percentage, and 31st in passer rating and QBR. Those struggles are also partly due to a cadre of pass-catchers that thins quickly behind Moore, especially if Robby Anderson were to follow through on his threat to retire.

On defense, the loss of Haason Reddick means that Yetur Gross-Matos will be counted on to play a larger role after amassing just six sacks over his first two seasons combined. The team was also 18th against the run and 21st in points allowed.

The Panthers have the best roster of any team on this list, but the areas where the Panthers do have holes (quarterback, offensive and defensive lines) are season-killers.

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