Carolina Panthers: Jordan Kunaszyk a pleasant training camp surprise
The Carolina Panthers may have a diamond in the rough at the linebacker position.
You have heard me talk over the last couple of weeks about how certain players need to make their mark for the Carolina Panthers with the opportunities that they are given. Especially for some of the bubble players, they need to do something to make themselves stand out. Jordan Kunaszyk is one of the players who has been performing well over the course of the preseason. His hard work on the practice field over the past couple of weeks has been translating to in-game action.
Take Friday’s game against the Buffalo Bills for example. He recorded seven tackles in what was a brutal loss for the Panthers. His high tackle amount was tied for the most on the team with Jermaine Carter. As an undrafted free agent trying to make the team, Kunaszyk needed to have a night like this if he wanted to make the Carolina Panthers roster. There are only so many roster spots to go around.
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In the team’s first preseason game against Chicago, he also made an impact. He recorded two tackles and a sack, showing he had the speed to get out to the quarterback. It’s safe to say that these last two preseason games have certainly helped his stock rise a bit. Now, he is faced with the tough challenge of the New England Patriots offensive line on the road. The Patriots will certainly be for everyone involved with the Carolina Panthers.
It’s good to see him step up and play well. Linebacker depth was thought to be an issue for the team heading into the season. After losing a player like Thomas Davis, that undoubtedly leaves a hole on your defense. However, Kunaszyk is among a group of players that is trying to close that gap. If he keeps playing as solidly as he has over the past couple of days, he could very well make his case for a spot on the team.
Stories like Jordan Kunaszyk’s are what make the preseason so fun. Not only has he taken advantage of the opportunity is presented with, he has played well. I’ll be interested to see exactly how his fate with the team pans out. If he isn’t retained by the Carolina Panthers, I am confident that he will be able to find a home in the National Football League. He has shown he can play at this level. As players would probably be able to attest to, that is half the battle.