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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Shaq Thompson, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers prediction No. 4: Shaq Thompson will secure career highs in solo tackles and sacks

Luke Kuechly’s presence on the field will be almost irreplaceable for the Carolina Panthers. He was the heart and soul of their defense. So it might have to be a case of a collective effort rather than one individual taking over the mantle.

One player that will be feeling the pressure more than most is Shaq Thompson. He is now one of the more established members of the defense after an offseason of unprecedented change. And he needs to raise his game accordingly.

Thompson is coming off a season where he recorded 75 solo tackles and three sacks. While this production is more than adequate for an outside linebacker. If the former first-round pick wants to become the new leader of the Panthers’ defense, then he is going to have to better these numbers in 2020.

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This is something that Thompson is more than capable of achieving. He has been criticized for his lack of burst getting to the quarterback during his career. But he should get plenty of space to work in during the upcoming campaign thanks to Carolina’s impressive players occupying positions on the defensive front.

The onus will ultimately be on Thompson to make the necessary improvements. He is already considered a top player, of that there is little doubt. But if he wants to enter the elite category, then it will need to come with career-best numbers in solo tackles and sacks next season.

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