The Carolina Panthers enter the 2018 season with big time expectations. All won’t go according to plan though. Here are five bold predictions for the year.
Many people love to quote the adage that the NFL stands for “not for long.” The reason the saying is so popular is because it’s very true. As such, it’s natural to expect some surprises for the Carolina Panthers this year.
Panthers officials believe they have the talent necessary to win a Super Bowl championship. Time will tell whether or not they’re right. To take that gigantic step forward, they’re going to need some players to emerge out of relative obscurity. The first bold prediction on this list speaks to a third round pick whose role is very much up in the air.
5. Rashaan Golden will be a starter
The Panthers shocked a lot of draft experts by snapping the Tennessee defensive back up in round three. Questions immediately poured in about whether the team viewed him as a cornerback or safety.
The team responded pretty quickly with their intention to start him at safety. That makes a lot of sense given the age of Carolina’s current starters. Neither Mike Adams or Colin Jones in a position to provide Ron Rivera with long-term stability in the secondary.
One of them is bound to pick up and injury or simply see their performance slip due to age. If either happens, Gaulden will be thrown into the fire. He could also get serious time as the team’s big nickel corner. That’s a position he played a lot in college.
Golden’s versatility is just too strong to keep him on the bench. Look for him to emerge as a starter by midseason. His ability to adjust quickly to life in the NFL could be a real key for this defense down the stretch.