CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The reigning NFC champion Carolina Panthers selected WVU CB Daryl Worley in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Since the day he arrived in Panthers Country back in April, he’s proven his value tremendously.
On day one of team passing drills earlier this summer, Worley intercepted a pass from the 2016 NFL MVP Cam Newton. Even more impressively, the young rookie didn’t let that interception – or any other pre-season success – get to his head.
“I don’t get my paycheck to pick off Cam (Newton),” Worley told the Charlotte Observer. “I get my paycheck to do that to all 31 other quarterbacks. Not really much to brag about. It’s practice at the end of the day.”
Declaring for the NFL after his junior campaign, many questioned whether Worley was ready for the pressure and competition level of the NFL. But with a stat sheet including 126-career solo tackles and 10 interceptions in just three seasons, Carolina head coach Ron Rivera saw plenty of backfield potential, which is exactly what the Panthers needed following the departure of Pro Bowl CB Josh Norman.
After drafting Worley and fellow CB James Bradberry of Samfurd University, Rivera has embraced a restored confidence in the Panthers secondary. So much so, that he’s already deemed the rookie duo as likely starters for the upcoming season.
“They’re in line to get an opportunity,” Rivera told USA TODAY Sports. “Our first preseason game, they will probably start. The biggest thing is that we have given these guys a lot of reps. We have put them in position. We told them: ‘We’re going to live and die with you guys. We’re going to give you every opportunity to compete and be part of what we want to do.’ And they have responded. They have done a great job.”
As a rookie, finding your place on a star-studded team that’s constantly in the spotlight following a Super Bowl run is no easy task. So far, Worley seems to be fitting in perfectly.
“Just to play on that field (at Panthers Training Camp) in front of those fans in that atmosphere was a dream come true,” Worley told ESPN Charlotte Radio. “It exceeded my expectations… we have to Keep Pounding.”
Quotes in this article courtesy of the Charlotte Observer, USA TODAY Sports and ESPN Charlotte Radio
Cover Image Credit: draftwire.usatoday.com