3 new individual battles to watch against the Buccaneers

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Tristan Wirfs /

Stephen Weatherly vs Tristan Wirfs

The Carolina Panthers gave themselves another strong pass-rushing option this offseason period in Stephen Weatherly. His performances in a rotational role with the Minnesota Vikings more than justify a step into a starting position. And there should be plenty of space to work in thanks to the presence of Derrick Brown and Kawann Short on the interior.

Weatherly will need to hit the ground running with second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos also vying for time on the field during his rookie year. The former seventh-round pick will test his mettle against one of the best offensive linemen entering the league via the NFL Draft this season whey the Carolina Panthers come up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tristan Wirfs is an aggressive tackle who has all the makings of a prolific edge protector at the next level. The Bucs wasted no time in taking him No. 13 overall after he fell into their laps and his presence should give Tom Brady more time to go through his progressions from the word go.

This is the sort of matchup that Weatherly has to take advantage of if he wants to convince people he is more than just a productive backup. Wirfs does have some outstanding skills to call upon, but his inexperience is going to come with some growing pains.