The Carolina Panthers are in the midst of a quarterback competition during this early stage of training camp, but it does look like Baker Mayfield may have the inside track of winning the job when the dust settles. The former No. 1 overall pick was acquired by the team just over a month ago and has seemingly begun to separate himself from the competition, specifically incumbent starter Sam Darnold.
While Mayfield and Darnold may be splitting reps with the first-team offense, a recent report from the NFL Network did note that this is . According to reporters on the scene, Mayfield has been the clear top option over the rest of the signal-callers on the Panthers roster thanks to his ability to push the ball down the field.
On Monday, head coach Matt Rhule even praised Mayfield for picking up the playbook so quickly.
"He's definitely improving," Rhule said, via The Charlotte Observer, "as he gets more and more of a feel for what he can do at the line of scrimmage... What he's done in 10 days (of training camp practice) is pretty impressive. He's making really good jumps."
Of course, Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Browns, while Darnold came off the board just two picks later at No. 3 overall to the Jets. Given that they are both on the same roster and on different clubs that selected them just five years prior, neither has truly lived up to their billing. Still, Mayfield has enjoyed a more productive career to this point, owning a superior record, completion percentage, and passer rating for his career.
Rhule noted over the weekend that he'll probably not name Carolina's Week 1 starter until after the Panthers take on the New England Patriots in their second preseason game of the summer on Aug. 19. However, it does seem like only a matter of time before Mayfield officially ascends to the top of the depth chart.