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 G Fiume/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /

Linebacker (5)

  • Shaq Thompson
  • Tahir Whitehead
  • Jermaine Carter
  • Marquis Haynes
  • Adarius Taylor

Not having Luke Kuechly within the linebacking corps of the Carolina Panthers is going to take some getting used to. This has left plenty of questions surrounding this group and their ability to make a lasting impression in 2020.

Most of the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Shaq Thompson. The former first-round pick is keen to emerge as a defensive leader for the Panthers. And this should come with an increase in production as a result.

Tahir Whitehead will be tasked with filling the void left by Kuechly on the inside of Carolina’s 4-3 base scheme. There remains some doubt as to who will fill the other outside linebacker spot from a starting perspective. But Marquis Haynes and Jermaine Carter are both realistic options along with do-it-all rookie Jeremy Chinn.

The Panthers’ coaching staff is clearly a big fan of Adarius Taylor, who came late to the party but might have done enough to make the team. Their preference for him to be involved has been made evident in no uncertain terms and this bodes well for his chances in 2020 and possibly beyond.