The Carolina Panthers are hoping for a better go of things in the 2022 season following a disappointing campaign last year. Matt Rhule will be coaching for his job, and the team will be hoping Christian McCaffrey can stay on the field and play a big role offensively.

After moving on from Cam Newton in the offseason, the Panthers expect to break camp with Sam Darnold, PJ Walker, and rookie Matt Corral as their quarterbacks, in what should make for a close-knit competition in the preseason.

The Panthers will have Jaycee Horn back in the mix on defense this season, where he'll line up alongside the likes of Shaq Thompson and Pro Bowler Brian Burns. While this is a group that doesn't figure to be playoff-bound, the Panthers can make some important strides in 2022 if things go their way.

With all that in mind, here are some way too early predictions for the Carolina Panthers in the 2022 NFL season.

*Watch NFL Games LIVE with fuboTV (click for free trial)*

Panthers Way Too Early Predictions For 2022 NFL Season

3. Jaycee Horn makes his first Pro Bowl

An injury cost Jaycee Horn all but three games during his rookie season, but he's poised for a bounce-back and breakout season in 2022. The former No. 8 overall pick will be fired up to make an impact for his team after barely getting a chance to shine last year. In his three games in 2021, Horn recorded one interception, 1 pass breakup, and 5 tackles. He'll look to build off what looked like a promising start to his rookie season in 2022.

Live and breathe the NFL?

🚨 Get viral NFL graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The Panthers started off 3-0 last year, and then the wheels fell off after Horn got injured. Obviously, Horn's absence isn't the entire reason the Panthers' season fell to pieces in 2021, but it certainly played a role. We're expecting the 22-year-old to be one of the team's leaders on defense this year and wind up with a Pro Bowl nod to show for it.

2. Christian McCaffrey stays healthy, returns to dominance

Christian McCaffrey is undoubtedly one of the most explosive players in the NFL, when healthy that is. Injuries have cost him much of the past two seasons, as he's suited up for just 10 games during that span. Last year saw McCaffrey miss all but seven games, and the star running back was limited to just 99 carries on the season. He scored 1 touchdown and recorded 442 rushing yards in what was ultimately a disappointing season.

The Panthers can lean less heavily upon McCaffrey knowing they have a serviceable backup in Chuba Hubbard in 2022, so the potentially eased workload will enable the versatile running back to stay healthy and remain on the field. Having CMC on the field will also make things vastly easier for whoever ends up winning the quarterback competition, as he's an extremely effective pass-catcher who is a reliable check-down option on any play.

1. Matt Corral beats Sam Darnold for QB1

While Sam Darnold is under contract for one more season, there isn't a lot of confidence surrounding his ability as a starting quarterback in the NFL. That much was made clear when the Panthers drafted Matt Corral in the draft, despite being on the hook to pay Darnold as much as $18.8 million. Darnold has not shown much to inspire confidence throughout his career in the pros, so the door for Corral to win the starting gig will be wide open.

Corral boasts excellent arm talent, though he doesn't have the strongest arm. He has solid accuracy, evidenced him throwing just five interceptions last season. Accuracy has been an issue for Darnold throughout his career, so it stands to reason that Matt Rhule will want to roll with Corral, who is less mistake-prone. Of course, a rookie QB will still make plenty of mistakes, but this isn't a season in which the Panthers expect to be competing. Getting reps for Corral will help them get a clear view of what his NFL potential is, so it shouldn't take too long for him to win the starting role.