Defensive Prospects for Panthers pt. 2


This is the second edition of the five part series I’m doing on potential defensive players the Panthers might select in the upcoming Draft. Last week I started off with cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama, and today I’m selecting a teammate of his. But as long as you’re selecting someone from an Alabama defense you really can’t go wrong.


Courtney Upshaw, Alabama (OLB)

Courtney Upshaw is the highest ranked outside linebacker in the draft, and like Kirkpatrick, also comes from the winning heritage of Alabama. He has surprisingly great speed for a 265 lb man as well. He comes from a defense that uses the same schemes as defenses in the NFL and that will only add to his intrigue from NFL teams. He has a motor that is constantly running and great instincts, which always put him in the right spot to make a play.

His most valued asset would be his ability to rush the passer from the linebacker position, having totaled 17 sacks in his last two seasons. That is something Carolina could desperately use, seeing as how they ranked towards the bottom of the league in total sacks this past season.

The Panthers also need to find a replacement for Thomas Davis, who had his third ACL injury this year, and Upshaw could be a perfect fit. He has the speed, size, and pass rushing skills that could make him one of the elite linebackers in the league after a couple of seasons. With Jon Beason, James Anderson, and Courtney Upshaw flying all over the field making tackles, they could easily be considered as one of the best linebacking trios in the NFC.  And with Ron Rivera being a defensive minded coach I’m sure he’s contemplating adding this kid to his roster.

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Tags: Courtney Upshaw James Anderson Jon Beason Ron Rivera Thomas Davis

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  • pantherINSIDER

    Trade down, pick up zack brown and DT, get a corner in free agency!

  • pantherINSIDER

    Trade down, pick up zack brown and DT, get a corner in free agency!

  • Phillip Gramling

    @pantherINSIDER

    Please tell me you dont mean the Zach Brown that plays running back for Pittsburg?? Why would we draft him when we already have 2 great RB’s….?

  • Phillip Gramling

    @pantherINSIDER

    Please tell me you dont mean the Zach Brown that plays running back for Pittsburg?? Why would we draft him when we already have 2 great RB’s….?

  • pantherINSIDER

    @Phillip Gramling
    Come on Phillip, of course not! ! OLB for UNC.

  • pantherINSIDER

    @Phillip Gramling
    Come on Phillip, of course not! ! OLB for UNC.

  • Phillip Gramling

    @pantherINSIDER

    @pantherINSIDEROk, good. lol idk why the first Zach Brown to come to my mind was the RB from Pitt. But yeah, I like that Zach Brown too. He was a tackling machine this year, and he has pretty good pass rushing skills for a linebacker. I could see him taking over Thomas Davis’ spot next year. However, I think that Brown maybe a bit of a reach since we’re going to have the 8th or 9th pick in the draft.

  • Phillip Gramling

    But if we traded down like you mentioned before then i think that could be possibility. But I would really love to see them pick up Morris Claiborne or Dre Kirkpatrick to fill their need at the corner position.

  • pantherINSIDER

    @Phillip Gramling its a reach in the top ten draft position, that’s why trading down makes good sense for us, he’ll be there late in the first round so we can puck him up plus get another pick 1st or 2nd. We can fill desperately needed Olb and DT spots with talent if done right!

    The corner position is tricky, there’s usually 1 sure thing in each draft and mr.clabourne is it. I don’t like using our top 10 pick on a corner with all our holes in our D . But that’s what makes this fun and I respect your opinion .

  • pantherINSIDER

    I meant to add morris clabourne want be there if we use our 8 or 9 spot to pick him.

  • Phillip Gramling

    @pantherINSIDER

    @pantherINSIDEROk, good. lol idk why the first Zach Brown to come to my mind was the RB from Pitt. But yeah, I like that Zach Brown too. He was a tackling machine this year, and he has pretty good pass rushing skills for a linebacker. I could see him taking over Thomas Davis’ spot next year. However, I think that Brown maybe a bit of a reach since we’re going to have the 8th or 9th pick in the draft.

  • Phillip Gramling

    But if we traded down like you mentioned before then i think that could be possibility. But I would really love to see them pick up Morris Claiborne or Dre Kirkpatrick to fill their need at the corner position.

  • pantherINSIDER

    @Phillip Gramling its a reach in the top ten draft position, that’s why trading down makes good sense for us, he’ll be there late in the first round so we can puck him up plus get another pick 1st or 2nd. We can fill desperately needed Olb and DT spots with talent if done right!

    The corner position is tricky, there’s usually 1 sure thing in each draft and mr.clabourne is it. I don’t like using our top 10 pick on a corner with all our holes in our D . But that’s what makes this fun and I respect your opinion .

  • pantherINSIDER

    I meant to add morris clabourne want be there if we use our 8 or 9 spot to pick him.

  • Phillip Gramling

    @pantherINSIDER yeah, i doubt that Claiborne will be there by the time our pick rolls around either, but there’s always crazy stuff that happens on draft day and there’s always those guys that are projected as top 10 talent that find themselves being drafted at pick 20. There are a bunch of guys with take with our first pick and all of them would be reasonable. And if Justin Blackmon were to somehow fall to us, we’d definitely have to consider taking him. A talent like his at the reciever position only comes around so often.

  • Phillip Gramling

    @pantherINSIDER yeah, i doubt that Claiborne will be there by the time our pick rolls around either, but there’s always crazy stuff that happens on draft day and there’s always those guys that are projected as top 10 talent that find themselves being drafted at pick 20. There are a bunch of guys with take with our first pick and all of them would be reasonable. And if Justin Blackmon were to somehow fall to us, we’d definitely have to consider taking him. A talent like his at the reciever position only comes around so often.