Carolina Panthers football is almost back. And that means only one thing!
Well, actually, it means many things. But for our purposes here, it means that power rankings are also back!
Here, with preseason play set to hit full swing this weekend, is where the Panthers are starting off across the web's inaugural 2022 ranks.
Power rank: 29
Power ranker: Doug Farrar
Take: "So, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule recently made his team run gassers because he was upset that receiver Rashard Higgins celebrated a big catch from Baker Mayfield by celebrating around and in the end zone. Perhaps Rhule was unsure what a touchdown pass looked like; only the Jaguars had fewer of them (12) than Carolina's 14. Rhule has not yet decided whether Mayfield or Sam Darnold will be his starting quarterback in 2022; Mayfield should take that battle on pure talent… but with Rhule, you just never know. He has a 10-23 record over his first two NFL seasons, and he'll have to swim uphill to avoid adding his name to the long list of successful college coaches who should have stayed put in the NCAA.
"The Panthers do have a roster to be at least competitive, especially with a drastically improved offensive line. And if Rhule turns the fact that he's probably coaching for his job this season into a positive, maybe the Panthers will surprise a few people from time to time."
Power rank: 24
Power ranker: Nate Davis
Take: "Now a halfway house for 2018 first-round QBs, Carolina could yet be playoff bound given its defensive potential and quality offensive playmakers … assuming RB Christian McCaffrey remains on the field."
For The Win
Power rank: 29
Power ranker: Robert Zeglinski and Christian D'Andrea
Take: "The Panthers did the right thing by drafting a legitimate long-term franchise book-end in Ikem Ekwonu. Unfortunately, Carolina can't morph its glorified journeymen cast of quarterbacks in Baker Mayfield, rookie Matt Corral, and Sam Darnold into one capable passer."
Power rank: 23
Power ranker: Dan Hanzus
Take: "Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold continue to split first-team reps in training camp, but it appears the former Browns signal-caller has pulled ahead in this competition. RapSheet reported that Mayfield has the "inside track" to start Week 1 (against Cleveland, no less). Mayfield feels like he's one good preseason performance away from locking this thing up. Darnold, meanwhile, spent part of his Monday answering questions about a report that has him on the trade block. One could safely surmise that the combination of Darnold's game tape and bloated salary would conspire to make his trade market rather grim."
Pro Football Focus
Power rank: 29
Power ranker: Sam Monson
Take: "The Panthers may have done well to emerge from the draft with a rookie quarterback without spending the sixth overall pick on him, but that still leaves a starting battle between Sam Darnold and a player the rest of the NFL didn't want for over 90 picks. Matt Corral ran a very RPO-heavy offense in college (over 40% of snaps), so his ability to translate to the NFL is a big unknown. Overall, Carolina made some nice moves this offseason, but its quarterback situation could be crippling."
Power rank: 27
Power ranker: Vinnie Iyer
Take: "The Panthers feel like they might have more QB stability assuming Baker Mayfield wins the starting job over Sam Darnold, but they need better health and reliability in other offensive areas. The defense has some fine parts, but the clock is ticking to make it a special whole."
Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire