Carolina Panthers: 4 protected practice squad candidates

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Branden Bowen
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Branden Bowen /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Kyahva Tezino /

Carolina Panthers Player No 3: Kyahva Tezino – LB

Kyahva Tezino was picked up off the waiver wire by the Carolina Panthers after he was released by the New England Patriots. This looks like a good spot for the linebacker at a position of need. But time is of the essence if he wants to make the 53-man roster.

There are plenty of reasons to be encouraged regarding Tezino. He had a superb spell with San Diego State that brought some lofty numbers over the last two seasons. And even though he would be undersized compared to most at the position. The player possesses a fierce determination with instincts to match.

Tahir Whitehead has been earmarked as the man to replace Luke Kuechly after the perennial All-Pro called it a day after eight seasons following the 2019 campaign. But the Panthers will need a longer-term solution at the position that could perhaps come from a prospect they can develop over time.

That is where Tezino comes in. There is not a great deal of pressure for him to come in and contribute right away. But if Carolina’s coaching staff can work their magic in the coming months, then his presence on the field could be a more realistic option.

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Tezino finished his college career with 288 combined tackles, 148 solo tackles, 14.5 sacks, 31.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, four pass deflections, and two forced fumbles. Putting him as a protected practice squad player would be a huge vote of confidence from the organization regarding his ability to start one day. And this is a realistic outcome for the linebacker if he catches the eye in the coming weeks.