Carolina Panthers Player No. 2: Sam Acho (EDGE)
Although Sam Acho failed to build on a promising rookie campaign. He has become a nice complementary piece during his career at the outside linebacker position.
Acho was taken in the fourth round back in 2011 by the Arizona Cardinals and looked like a potential star with seven sacks in his first year. The player has failed to take this momentum into the rest of his career. And he appears nothing more than a bit-part player at this stage.
That being said, Acho has plenty of likable traits that can make a smooth transition into Phil Snow’s defensive scheme. He played well enough in limited minutes to earn a 73.0 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2019. And a fresh start with a realistic chance of making an impression could be just what the player needs at this juncture.
His familiarity with the Carolina Panthers’ NFC South rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers would also be valuable to call upon. Acho turned out eight times for the team last season. And his knowledge would benefit Carolina’s inexperienced coaching staff considerably.
It is clear that a broken leg in 2013 hampered Acho significantly. It took him some time to recover from the biggest of setbacks. And he has never been the same player since.
The player’s career stats of 18 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, 38 quarterback hits, 11 forced fumbles, and 178 solo tackles over a nine-year spell are just a glimpse of what might have been. If the Panthers are looking for a ready-made replacement for Christian Miller, then Acho is one to consider.