Carolina Panthers: 4 bold predictions on defense in 2020

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short /
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Kawann Short, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Kawann Short /

Carolina Panthers prediction No. 2: Top-10 run defense

The Carolina Panthers had a porous run defense in 2020. They continually gave up prominent yardage no matter what the opposition. But things could be much-improved in this area next season.

Opposing teams averaged 143.5 yards-per-game against the Panthers in 2019. This was fourth-worst in the NFL and left the team fighting an uphill battle most games.

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There is real cause for optimism this time around thanks in no small part to Carolina taking former Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown with the No. 7 overall pick. He is a formidable presence on the interior who commands both attention and space in equal measure.

While there are some who doubt his ability to get to the quarterback at the next level. The player has all the skills needed to be a prominent run stopper.

Brown is set to form a prolific defensive tackle partnership with Kawann Short. The veteran Pro Bowler is making a return to full health following a torn rotator cuff that ended his 2019 campaign prematurely. And he is another that is a powerful presence on the line of scrimmage.

Having these two players anchoring their defensive front is sure to result in a turnaround in fortunes. Stephen Weatherly is also tremendous against the run on the edge. And the tackling prowess of Shaq Thompson and Tahir Whitehead is well known.

If Brian Burns can make improvements in this area. Then it could see the Panthers become a top-10 run defense in 2020.