ESPN's Panthers writer David Newton wrote Saturday that he "wouldn't be shocked" if rookie wideout Kelvin Benjamin scores more than eight touchdowns this year, and said he would be "surprised" if he doesn't score more than four.
The number isn't entirely arbitrary; eight is the number of touchdowns former Panthers receiver Steve Smith scored in the past two seasons combined.
I'll take the under, but just slightly since it's pretty easy to see why Benjamin could meet those expectations. When you're a 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, you make it pretty inviting for your quarterback to just throw it up and have you go get it. Benjamin caught 15 touchdowns on just 54 receptions last year at Florida State. With veterans Jerricho Cotchery and Tiquan Underwood at the top of Carolina's WR depth chart, the Panthers will certainly be looking for Benjamin to stand out and put up points. However, he has a long way to go in terms of running routes. You don't need to run great routes when you can simply reach higher than any cornerback. But I think you'll see Benjamin basically be the receiving equivalent of BenJarvus Green-Ellis early on: Touchdown or bust. He's fine as a WR4 in re-draft leagues.