Panthers: 3 potential Pac-12 opt-out replacements for Kawann Short

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Jordon Scott
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Jordon Scott /
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Jay Tufele, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) Jay Tufele /

USC. JAYTUFELE. 1. player. Pick Analysis. DT. 808. Scouting Report

Carolina Panthers Player No. 1: Jay Tufele (USC)

A potential Pac-12 boycott of the upcoming college football season shouldn’t impact Jay Tufele’s draft stock a great deal. The imposing defensive tackle has performed well over a two-year spell with USC. And there is a lot to like about his chances of making an instant impact at the next level.

Tufele has all the tools needed to forge a successful pro career. His explosiveness is something that really sets him apart. And the player also boasts tremendous balance that makes him a stiff proposition to move off the block.

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The lineman has the speed to blow past opposing blockers at will. Tufele’s ability to get in the backfield consistently is another standout feature of his game. And the power he generates in a bull rush is another thing that catches the eye on film.

His incredible skill set is matched by an outstanding level of production for the Trojans. Tufele has notched 7.5 sacks, ten tackles for loss, 35 solo tackles, 64 combined tackles, one interception, and one fumble recovery throughout his two years in college. And if the Carolina Panthers identify him as a player of interest, he looks to be an ideal partner for No. 7 overall pick Derrick Brown on the interior.

Tufele is right on the first-round fringe heading into a critical third year. Opting out might jeopardize his chances of being taken in the top-32. And this is another thing that Carolina might be able to take advantage of if they decide to move on from Kawann Short next spring.