Carolina Panthers No. 94: Versatility is key for Efe Obada in 2020

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Efe Obada
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Efe Obada /

Can Efe Obada’s versatility be key for the Carolina Panthers in 2020?

It’s clear that the Carolina Panthers like what they see from Efe Obada. The defensive lineman came into the NFL with a fantastic story and he has all the physical attributes needed to make a real success of his career.

This was reflected by the one-year, $750,000 extension he received from the Carolina Panthers this offseason. With so many veterans moved on by the new regime. It can give Obada confidence that head coach Matt Rhule wants to see what the player can do in person next time around.

The Nigerian-born player is a commanding presence on the line of scrimmage. He has the speed and size to play either defensive end or the tackle position. And this sort of versatility is something that Rhule and his coaching staff sought prominently during their first few months with the franchise.

Obada has shown glimpses of what he is capable of for the Panthers during his time on the field. But the increased competition for places is something the player will have to overcome if he wants to see the field more in 2020.

Speaking earlier this offseason about the benefits of Obada’s versatility to the Panthers, general manager Marty Hurney had this to say.

"“I think there is flexibility there in his versatility. I think that Efe has a very good knack inside as a three-technique as far as getting penetration so not only can he play outside at end but he can move inside in sub (situations) and he’s done that and done it well. And Efe is a guy that every day, he comes in and you get his full effort every day – 100 miles an hour. He wants to get better. He improves steadily every week and I think he’s ready to make another jump here. He has versatility up and down the defensive line.”"

Why is versatility so key for Efe Obada and the Carolina Panthers?

Given the changes made to the Carolina Panthers from a defensive standpoint this offseason, keeping a player like Efe Obada around was welcome. He fits into their new way of thinking thanks to his supreme athletic gifts. And the organization is going to have a real player on their hands if he puts it all together.

He should get more room to work with on Carolina’s new 4-3 base that will see Kawann Short and No. 7 overall pick Derrick Brown clogging up the interior. There is also the option to move Obada into the defensive tackle spot on pass-rushing downs.

This is something that might become more evident in their two divisional matchups against the New Orleans Saints. They were susceptible to the interior pass-rush of Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter when Minnesota Vikings’ head coach Mike Zimmer pulled off a masterstroke that contributed significantly to a shock playoff win.

That will not have gone unnoticed by the Panthers. And Obada has all the traits one is looking for in a versatile lineman.

The next job both he and the organization has is getting the most out of his skill set. He has been in the NFL for a while now, so now is the time for the player to deliver on his promise.

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