1. The Panthers defense got even stronger
In 2017, the Carolina Panthers had the best defense in the NFC South. They ranked No. 7 in the entire National Football League in total defense.
They ranked No. 3 in the entire league in run defense with 88.8 yards allowed per contest. On the season, they gave up 1,409 total rushing yards. Their passing defense left room for improvement as they ranked No. 18 with 3,665 yards allowed on the season which broke down to 229.1 yards allowed per game.
However, Marty Hurney and the rest of the organization tried to address those issues in the offseason.
Resigning defensive end Julius Peppers and defensive lineman Drew Iddings and acquiring defensive tackle Dontari Poe already boosted their run defensive during the free agency period. Then during the draft, the team went out and selected Marquis Haynes, Jermaine Carter Jr., and Andre Smith. That should make life easier on the rest of the team as they aim to stop a good crop of running backs in 2018.
To combat what has become a passing league, they signed cornerback Ross Cockrell and safety Da’Norris Searcy while resigning corner LaDarius Gunter. The draft saw them pick up Donte Jackson and Rashaan Gaulden, two players who in my opinion, could be cornerstones of the Panthers secondary.
There is no doubt the team got stronger defensively. In a division chalk full of offense, that is very good news.