5 potential Pac-12 opt-outs on Carolina Panthers’ radar in 2021

(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images) Paulson Adebo
(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images) Paulson Adebo /
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Levi Onwuzurike, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Levi Onwuzurike /

DT. LEVIONWUZURIKE. 818. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. WASHINGTON. 5

Carolina Panthers Player No. 5: Levi Onwuzurike (DT) – Washington

The Carolina Panthers might be looking for a long-term replacement for Kawann Short next year. The veteran defensive tackle is set to count $20.83 million against the salary cap in 2021. And it is highly doubtful that the organization will keep him around at this astronomical sum.

With the cap set to come down to as little as $175 million, the Panthers might be forced to find a possible solution in the draft. Levi Onwuzurike has been a formidable presence on the defensive interior during his stint in Washington so far. And he is someone that could be high on the shortlist of potential options.

The Huskies’ standout is a stout presence to remove off the block. And his three years of college production include seven sacks, 16 tackles for loss, and 47 solo tackles. Onwuzurike’s strength and explosives are superb features of his game. With his exceptional prowess stopping the run coming across strongly on almost every down.

Onwuzurike’s hand placement already looks NFL ready. So there is plenty to like from the perspective of bringing in the players and expected an immediate contribution.

He is somewhat undersized for a defensive tackle at the next level. And bulking up wouldn’t do his chances of being a high pick any harm at all.

What sort of impact opting out would have on Onwuzurike’s prospects is up for debate. Conditioning can be a major factor with players at the position. And he would need to work extremely hard in the months leading up to the draft in order to hit the ground running.

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