Dwayne Jarrett hasn't lived up to expectations in Carolina so far.
It seems that question gets asked every year. But the answer really could be different this year. Jarrett’s been a bust since the Panthers used a second-round pick on him in 2007.
But let’s keep a couple of things in mind. Jarrett is still only 23 years old and came out of USC early. Carolina coach John Fox has a long history of not placing a lot of trust in the hands of young wide receivers.
But that could change in Jarrett’s fourth year in this offense. He should know the system by now and he really is the most logical candidate to start opposite Steve Smith. Yes, it’s true the Panthers used early-round picks on Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards, but it’s tough to see Fox trusting either of them enough to put them directly in the starting lineup.
Jarrett may get the first shot simply because of his experience and the Panthers still would not have him on the roster if they didn’t think there was some upside. At 6-foot-4 and 219 pounds, Jarrett is a logical choice to take over the starting job vacated by Muhsin Muhammad. Like Muhammad, Jarrett is big enough to be an effective blocker in the running game and a possession target for quarterbacks Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen.
Jarrett’s never had more than 17 catches in a season, but there are some football people in Carolina who believe he can be a quality No. 2 if he’s given a chance to play the role.