Assessing the impact of Matt Rhule’s former college players in 2020
Carolina Panthers with Matt Rhule ties: Tahir Whitehead (LB)
Tahir Whitehead has the unenviable task of filling the void left by Luke Kuechly. The legendary linebacker called it a day after a standout eight seasons with the Carolina Panthers. And his loss on the field is going to be substantial.
That being said, Whitehead is a good tackler in space and should provide the Panthers with a short-term fill. He does lack a bit of awareness in coverage. But there is a chance he can earn an extension on the one-year, $2.5 million deal the player signed this offseason.
Carolina Panthers with Matt Rhule ties: Bravvion Roy (DT)
The Carolina Panthers took Bravvion Roy with their sixth-round pick and enabled the incoming prospect to form a quick reunion with Matt Rhule. He is seen more of a rotational player behind Kawann Short and Derrick Brown initially. But the defensive tackle could make an impact when called upon.
How he develops his skills during the season should tell the organization a lot regarding whether Roy can emerge as a starting option in the future. There might be an opportunity available in 2021, with Short a prime candidate for release given his whopping salary cap hit.
Carolina Panthers with Matt Rhule ties: Derrek Thomas (CB)
Derrek Thomas comes to the Carolina Panthers an undeveloped player that possesses some good athletic traits. While it might be difficult for the cornerback to earn a spot on the rotation initially. Matt Rhule will know all about what he needs to improve going forward.
This might stand the player in good stead having this sort of comfort blanket. And he might be able to make an impression on special teams providing he is given some time on the field during the preseason.
Carolina Panthers with Matt Rhule ties: Sam Franklin (LB)
Sam Franklin is another undrafted player that has his work cut out making the 53-man roster. This comes despite the lack of depth at inside linebacker. And putting him on the practice squad while he gets up to speed is a realistic option providing no other team wants to take a chance on him.