Football

Remaining Positions of Need for the Carolina Panthers

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The Carolina Panthers had a pleasant NFL Draft. The two biggest needs were fulfilled for Carolina as in the first round, the football gods blessed the Panthers with left tackle Ikem Ekwonu out of North Carolina State. In the third round, the Panthers decided to address their quarterback position by drafting Matt Corral out of Ole Miss, as a developmental piece to the future.

CHARLOTTE, NC – MAY 13: Carolina Panthers Tackle Ikem Ekwonu (79) warms up during day one of the Rookie Mini Camp on May 13, 2022 at the Carolina Panthers Practice Facility in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With the draft over and rookie minicamps/OTA’s starting soon, there are still some key pieces still necessary for the Carolina Panthers to have any sort of success this season.

While many experts think that getting a veteran quarterback in the room would be step one, the Panthers aren’t in a rush to get help. Here are the three positions that I think that the Carolina Panthers need to focus on with the remaining $30 million in cap space.

Edge Rusher

Last season, the Carolina Panthers enjoyed quality play last season from Haason Reddick who racked up 11 sacks as the leading-edge rusher for the Panthers. Now, Reddick is with the Philadelphia Eagles and unless Carolina is hoping for a breakout year from Yetur Gross-Matos, they should be considering one of the high-quality defensive ends that are still in free agency.

A name to watch out for is former #1 draft pick Jadeveon Clowney, who produced 9.5 sacks last season beside Myles Garrett for the Cleveland Browns. A South Pointe (HS) standout who enjoyed success playing for the South Carolina Gamecocks, would enjoy a hometown reunion with his friends and family.

A one-year contract with performance bonuses would fit the narrative and it will take some of the pressure off Brian Burns as he is in a crucial season in terms of an extended contract. (Since the writing of this article, Clowney has re-signed with the Browns.)

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 12: Robby Anderson #11 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after scoring a 57-yard touchdown during the second quarter against the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Wide Receiver

Now, I know what you are thinking. Are you smoking something? The Panthers have DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and newly signed Rashard Higgins. It will be great to have a veteran presence in the receiver room. There are a bunch of quality receivers still on the free-agent market that won’t cost the Panthers too much in terms of cap space.

Big names like Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, and Emmanuel Sanders are shockingly still available on the market heading into OTAs. Cole Beasley and Will Fuller are also solid pieces available on the market.

Carolina would be amiss if they didn’t make a move at receiver, based on recent developments in the division. With Atlanta trading for Bryan Edwards and New Orleans signing Jarvis Landry, the Carolina Panthers should highly consider an above-average receiver to help whoever is the starting quarterback in week 1.

Safety

Currently, the Carolina Panthers have two safeties on the starting lineup: Jeremy Chinn and newly- signed Xavier Woods. Chinn has a unique skill set that can fit any position on the defensive end and Woods is a reliable safety but there is a possible guy on the market that could help in that end.

Former Washington Commander Landon Collins is still available even though there are concerns with his injury history and only competed in 20 games since 2020. In Panther’s defensive coordinator Phil Snow’s system, he wants versatile players in different positions. With Collins, a one-year deal to see if he can still produce at a similar level would be beneficial to the Panthers at this point

Main Image Credit

CHARLOTTE, NC – MAY 13: Carolina Panthers Tackle Ikem Ekwonu (79) and Offensive Line Hunter Kelly (61) conduct drills during day one of the Rookie Mini Camp on May 13, 2022 at the Carolina Panthers Practice Facility in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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