Panthers: 3 ways Shaq Thompson can become the defensive leader

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
4 of 4
Shaq Thompson, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers No. 3: Mentoring a young core

The Carolina Panthers have one of the youngest defenses in the NFL going into 2020. This puts additional pressure on the veteran players to ease their transition. And this is another element that Shaq Thompson must make a lasting contribution to in his pursuit of becoming a defensive leader.

Their task was bolstered by their historic all-defense NFL Draft in 2020. And plenty of incoming college recruits are expected to see the field from the word go. If Thompson can take on the role of mentor with the rookie class, or at the very least play a leading role in their initial transition. Then this is going to be a massive boost for them as they look to make their way at the next level.

light. Related Story. Carolina Panthers: 3 bold predictions for 2020 draft class

Thompson came into the league as a first-round pick out of Washington back in 2015. So he knows what it is like to have high expectations regarding his ability to deliver immediately.

This knowledge is going to be invaluable to the likes of Derrick Brown, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Jeremy Chinn. And it should ease them into the NFL environment no matter how daunting it appears.

Guiding young members of the roster will be almost as important as production on the field. This is especially evident in Carolina next season due to their relative inexperience across the board. And the onus will be on Thompson to provide the sort of counsel that players simply cannot get from coaching staff.

Related Story. Carolina Panthers: 4 bold predictions on defense in 2020. light