3 Carolina Panthers who could hit the ground running at camp

(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) Reggie Bonnafon
(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) Reggie Bonnafon /
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Shaq Thompson, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /

Scouting Report. CAROLINA PANTHERS. SHAQTHOMPSON. player. Pick Analysis. LB. 3. 87

Carolina Panthers Player No. 3: Shaq Thompson (LB)

The Carolina Panthers have a huge void at the linebacker spot heading into 2020 thanks to the shock retirement of Luke Kuechly. The perennial All-Pro was a significant influence both on the field and within the locker room. And others will now need to stand up and be counted in his absence.

One such player who is set to see an increase in responsibility is Shaq Thompson. The player has been making all the right noises in terms of assuming a leadership role in Carolina going forward. But he needs to make an impact early and often during training camp.

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Thompson has all the tools one is looking for in a defensive leader. He is a solid contributor to the second level. And his communication on the field has improved significantly in recent years.

This will stand him in enormously good stead in 2020. And playing alongside one of the NFL’s greatest ever linebackers in Kuechly has bound to have a positive effect on what is expected.

It will be interesting to see how Thompson copes with being one of the more senior players on the roster. The Panthers got rid of overpaid veterans who were mostly past their prime during a frenzied period of activity. And it has left them with an athletic roster that is relatively devoid of any real starting experience.

Thompson will need to stamp his authority from a playing perspective. But the former first-round pick should also be looking to guide and nurture younger members of the roster throughout their initial transition.

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