5 biggest Panthers’ 2021 NFL Draft needs at the midseason point

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Kawann Short /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Kerr /

Defensive Tackle

Possible Options:

  • Jay Tufele (USC)
  • Jordan Davis (Georgia)
  • Tyler Shelvin (LSU)
  • Marvin Wilson (Florida State)
  • Christian Barmore (Alabama)
  • Darius Stills (West Virginia)

Derrick Brown has shown some potential to be the Carolina Panthers’ defensive anchor for the next decade. He has struggled at times, but overall the team should be encouraged regarding his ability to make a real difference with more experience under his belt.

Not having Kawann Short alongside him has made things more difficult. The Pro Bowler hasn’t stayed healthy once again and was eventually put on the reserve/injured list after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.

We have probably seen Short in a Panthers’ uniform for the last time. The veteran is due to count $20.83 million against the salary cap in 2021 and the $9 million in savings Carolina would make by cutting him just seems too tempting given the player’s lack of production due to injury over the last two years.

Zach Kerr has filled in well for Short and is a nice rotational piece to call upon. But if the Panthers want to bolster this area then they need to get another defensive tackle in via the 2021 NFL Draft to give them a solid foundation from which to build a potent defense.

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If they can do this and get someone who can rush the passer from the interior, then the better Carolina’s chances will be.