Panthers snap counts: Audition time for PJ Walker?

·2 min read

The Carolina Panthers went in to FedEx Field for their first bit of preseason action on Saturday afternoon and came out with a win. But who came out with some personal wins of their own?

Perhaps the team’s snap counts can give us an idea.

Here are the snap count standouts from the 23-21 win over the Washington Commanders.

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PJ's showcase

AP Photo/Nick Wass

Although the Panthers are 2-0 in his spot starts and he is very much liked amongst his coaches and teammates, Walker is currently facing a harsh reality—that he’s the odd man out.

Head coach Matt Rhule is preparing to carry three quarterbacks into the regular season, which is already one too many in today’s NFL anyway. Baker Mayfield is headed for the starting job, Matt Corral just essentially had two draft picks invested into him and Sam Darnold isn’t going anywhere with his guaranteed $18.8 million salary.

So, it appeared as though Rhule did his old Temple University kid a favor on Saturday and gave him a nice little showcase for the rest of the league. Walker took the most snaps out of any Panthers passer (34) and turned it into 136 passing yards on a 10-of-19 completion clip.

And for your scorekeeping purposes—Mayfield got 12 snaps, Darnold six and Corral 21.

Ickey takes a dip

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Ikem Ekwonu’s first taste of pro action resulted in a modest 16 snaps. So what does that tell us about where the sixth overall pick is in his development?

Well, it might just indicate that the staff has liked what they’ve seen to this point. While you’d normally see a healthy dose of looks for a rookie trying to get acclimated at the next level, the Panthers kept it relatively light for their big first-round investment.

Another good sign is that Ekwonu took every one of those 16 snaps at the left tackle position, and that he wasn’t kicked into the interior at any point. Additionally, his blindside competition in Brady Christensen received 12 snaps at left tackle and 16 at left guard.

That's Amaré

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

With their leading sack-getter in 2021 gone, Carolina is going to need some added firepower off the edge. And Barno made an early case to be apart of that.

The sixth-round pick logged 42 defensive snaps—the second-most of the unit. He used those chances to record three tackles, three pressures and a fumble recovery.

Fellow defensive ends Arron Mosby (49) and Austin Larkin (39) accounted for the highest and third-highest servings for the group, respectively, on the day.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire