Where does Desmond Ridder rank among current NFC South starters?
By Nick Halden
3. Andy Dalton
This is ranking only today's starters with Carolina's decision in the first round remaining unknown until late this week. Dalton is still a solid starting option for a rebuilding team or a top-tier backup. Andy had great moments as a starter with the Saints last season but had just as many that reminded New Orleans why both Cincy and Dallas moved on from the former starter.
Carolina signing Dalton is all about having a veteran mentor behind their rookie quarterback as well as a solid backup plan for a team that has started P.J. Walker, Cam Newton, Sam Darnold, and Baker Mayfield over the past two seasons.
Dalton is a better option than any of these four quarterbacks at this point in their careers. While Dalton might not have the talent of Darnold or Newton the difference is a veteran who knows his own limitations and will play within them.
If Carolina drafts C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young as expected they will clearly have an argument as having the most talented starter within the division. A low bar for a division that has a combined one playoff win among the five players being considered as starters.
Signing Dalton was a great move for the Panthers one that provides a clear mentor and insurance in case of injury or if Carolina makes the wrong decision.