What if Andy Dalton was a Carolina Panther?

The 2011 NFL draft was loaded with talent at every position. There were a total of 12 quarterbacks drafted and five of those are currently starting for an NFL team. The list of starting quarterbacks includes: Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Jake Locker, and Christian Ponder (Starting because Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater are injured), and Colin Kaepernick. Some have had successful careers, some did not work, and there is still hope for others. But, the big three from that draft are: Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick.

We all know that the Carolina Panthers selected Cam Newton with the number one pick.  Andy Dalton was drafted 35 by the Cincinnati Bengals, and the 49ers selected Colin Kaepernick with their 36th pick. But, what if the teams picked differently?

What if the Carolina Panthers selected Andy Dalton with the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft?

Andy Dalton has had a successful career in college and the NFL. He is a proven winner at both levels, and Dalton has led the Bengals to the playoffs every season since being drafted in 2011.

If Andy Dalton was the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers I think that the offense would actually be less efficient than it is now. Dalton’s career completion percentage is 61.1% and the percentage on his passes of 15 yards or more is 41.2%. Cam Newton’s career completion percentage is 59.9% and his deep ball percentage is 41.9%. The completion percentage is fairly similar but the main difference is mobility. Dalton is a pocket-passer and Newton is a dual threat quarterback. When Dalton is in trouble, he throws it deep.  When Newton is in trouble, he scrambles to get the first down.

When it comes to scoring points, Andy Dalton relies heavily on his number one receiver A.J. Green. If Dalton was a Carolina Panther, his number one would have been Steve Smith, and I think this would have resulted in something similar to the Jake Delhomme days. Not to take away from Jake Delhomme’s success, but he focused on Smitty the majority of the time which led to several careless mistakes. The Carolina Panthers have averaged 22.85 points per game since 2011 and the Cincinnati Bengals have averaged 24.28 points per game. The Bengals might score more points, but over the years they have had a solid run game, and this has resulted in 1.43 more points per game than Carolina.

Sure, Andy Dalton knows how to win in the regular season, but I don’t see him being a better option than Cam Newton for the Carolina Panthers. Imagine if the Carolina Panthers could run the football? Newton needs help on offense. If we can get a solid offensive line and a healthy running back, this offense would be potent. Newton would be able to lead this Panthers team to the promise land!

Please don’t read this and think that I want Andy Dalton to be the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers. I am just writing for a what-if scenario.

Do you think that Cam Newton is still the future of this franchise?

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