Carolina Panthers final 2020 roster projection: Defense

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Brian Burns /

Defensive line (8)

  • Brian Burns
  • Kawann Short
  • Derrick Brown
  • Stephen Weatherly
  • Yetur Gross-Matos
  • Efe Obada
  • Zach Kerr
  • Bravvion Roy

There are plenty of reasons to be encouraged regarding the defensive line in 2020. The Carolina Panthers did lose some prominent veterans in this area of the field. But others explosive playmakers across the board look more than capable of filling the void.

Brian Burns will be their primary pass-rushing option at the defensive end spot. The former first-round pick showed enormous promise as a rookie. But it remains to be seen whether the Panthers go with either Stephen Weatherly or No. 38 overall selection Yetur Gross-Matos in the starting lineup opposite him on the edge.

Veteran Kawann Short’s return to full health is a welcome boost. His partnership at defensive tackle with first-round selection Derrick Brown has the potential to transform their fortunes in the run game, which was an area of significant concern in 2019.

Other role players look primed to produce after impressing during training camp. Carolina is extremely hopeful that Efe Obada’s ability to play anywhere across the line of scrimmage will make him a prime member of the rotation. Free-agent signing Zach Kerr is another who has caught the eye, and sixth-rounder Bravvion Roy has probably done enough to make the 53-man roster.