Assessing the Panthers Defensive Line

In the 2013 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers turned a lot of heads by taking two Defensive Lineman with their first two picks in the NFL Draft. Now, while many Panther fans thought there would be one Defensive Tackle on the Panther’s roster, not many were expecting two, especially not back to back picks. With that being said, both Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei are fantastic players who add alot talent for the Carolina Panthers future.

Now before I continue with my assessment of the Panther’s Defensive line, I would just like to address the current Defensive Lineman on the Panthers roster:

Defensive Ends: Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson, Frank Alexander, Mario Addison, Thomas Keiser

Defensive Tackles: Star Lotulelei, Kawann Short, Nate Chandler, Colin Cole, Dwan Edwards, Sione Fua, Frank Kearse

The five Defensive Ends on the Panthers roster are all fine with me, I’m sure all five of them will make the team, given their track record with the Panther’s. The two that would be in question are Mario Addison and Thomas Keiser, but Addison proved to be a great Special Teams player and the coaching staff loves Keiser for his hard work, before his untimely injury near the middle of the season.

Dec 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy (76) acts as if he is eating while playing to the crowd of Panthers fans during the fourth quarteragainst the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports


Now the Defensive Tackles seem to be abundant. With seven on the current roster, I’m sure there will be at least one cut in the coming season. My picks for the possible axing would have to be Sione Fua, Nate Chandler, and Colin Cole. I would hate to see Cole gone so quickly after being sidelined for over a year, and Fua and Chandler didn’t exactly contribute much to the success of the line after Ron Edwards AND Dwan Edwards got themselves injured. So some combination of the three players might be suspect to a possible cutting.

On the more positive side, the Panthers seem to be set in the department of Defensive Line. We have a great line up for the future and with Star, Kawann, and Hardy still young, while Johnson is entering his seventh year with the team, I expect great success for the team’s Defensive Unit. As we all know a great D-Line leads to less stress for the Secondary, I’m sure that is exactly what Gettleman was saying when he drafted Kawann after just drafting Star. My only question is this: what does the future hold for Dwan Edwards. I have been advocating for the Panthers to make a commitment to “Big Dwan”, and they did, but Kawann is a great player and will more than likely take Dwan’s spot. I hate to say it but Dwan Edwards might be sitting the bench by the time the Panthers season starts.

So those are my thoughts on the state of the Panther’s Defensive Line, but what are yours? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Kawann Short Star Lotulelei

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