Biggest Question Mark: Everette Brown
With Julius Peppers out of the picture, Brown needs to step up in his second year in the pros. The 2009 2nd -round pick had just 2.5 sacks in 15 games as a rookie, a number that needs to improve this season. He’ll be expected to step into the starting lineup and live up to expectations immediately.
Position Battle to Watch: Quarterback
With Jake Delhomme out of the picture the Panthers were ready to hand the job over to Jake Delhomme. And then Jimmy Clausen landed in their lap in the 2nd round. The selection of Clausen has to shake Moore’s confidence, whether he’s willing to admit it or not. Clausen has far more talent, but can he pick up the pro game fast enough to win the job as a rookie?
Impact Rookie: Brandon LaFell
Clausen certainly could earn this distinction if he wins the staring job, but LaFell will be relied on regardless of who wins the quarterback battle. With Muhsin Muhammad gone, Steve Smith injured and Dwayne Jarrett struggling to make an impact, LaFell will have the opportunity to step into a significant role very early in his career.