Panthers No. 73: Can Juwann Bushell-Beatty make second-year leap?

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Juwann Bushell-Beatty
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Juwann Bushell-Beatty /

Can offensive lineman Juwann Bushell-Beatty take a second-year leap to possibly secure a roster spot with the Carolina Panthers in 2020?

We are now just 73 days away from a return to competitive action for the new-look Carolina Panthers. To say this offseason has been a dramatic one for the organization would be something of an understatement. And it is going to be interesting to see just how this roster and coaching staff adjusts during a difficult-looking schedule.

Cam Newton has now signed with the New England Patriots. So this puts an extra sense of pressure on the Carolina Panthers in 2020 and beyond. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is going to be under the microscope like never before now the 2015 NFL MVP has found a new home. And he will be counting on his offensive line to provide the necessary protection in order to give him the best possible chance of succeeding.

Things are rarely easy for an organization that has restructured from top to bottom. New head coach Matt Rhule has a seven-year deal. But his proven track record of turning college programs around didn’t happen overnight. And the former Baylor man will find out quickly that the NFL is a completely different ball game.

Continuing our countdown feature ahead of the new season, we now turn our attention to Carolina’s No. 73. Juwann Bushell-Beatty is a second-year offensive lineman who is getting the chance to make a 53-man roster once again. And this represents an area of the field where there remain some serious questions.

The Panthers traded away perennial Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for veteran left tackle Russell Okung. This has left them devoid of any real quality on the interior. And they will be counting on free-agent duo John Miller and Michael Schofield to fill the void.

Can Juwann Bushell-Beatty do enough to earn an extended stay with the Carolina Panthers?

Bushell-Beatty seems like an outside shot to earn a spot on the rotation. But the former Michigan standout did perform well during his time in the XFL with the Houston Roughnecks, where he played alongside new Panthers’ quarterback PJ Walker.

This experience will have done the player a tremendous amount of good. And he already knows what to expect from an NFL training camp during his time with the Dallas Cowboys last summer.

Just how much time Bushell-Beatty will get to make an impression is another matter entirely. So it is vital that he makes every second count once they return to the field.

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It is clear that Bushell-Beatty has his work cut out to still be with the Carolina Panthers in a meaningful way by the time their week one clash against the Las Vegas Raiders rolls around. However, the NFL is full of players who have made the most out of a second opportunity to impress with more knowledge under the belt. And the guard will be hoping to add his name to this particular list.

The Panthers are not exactly loaded with talent at the position the same way the team is at the wide receiver or defensive tackle spots. If Bushell-Beatty can show promise against Carolina’s premier pass-rushers in camp. It will be hard for the coaching staff to look the other way.

The onus will be on Bushell-Beatty to leave no doubt. He is an imposing figure on the line of scrimmage who is still a little raw. The player’s footwork needs improvement and his arm placement is another element of his game that needs brushing up. But if he can do this in a short space of time then there is a lot to like about his potential.

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