4 pass-rushing 2021 NFL Draft prospects the Panthers should scout

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Jaylen Twyman
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Jaylen Twyman /
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Carolina Panthers
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Azeez Ojulari /

Azeez Ojulari – OLB (Georgia)

It’s not just the defensive front that is having trouble generating consistent pressure. The Carolina Panthers haven’t got anything in this area from their outside linebackers and this is another detrimental element that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Jeremy Chinn has been sensational during his rookie year. But he’s not been used in many blitz packages or even as a stand-alone edge rusher having not played at the outside linebacker spot before. This could change down the line, but a more experienced player on the edge might be more beneficial in obvious passing situations.

The Panthers also have a big decision to make regarding Shaq Thompson, who is set for a substantial pay rise in 2021. He was arguably the team’s standout performer against the Buccaneers, which was his best display of a disappointing campaign so far.

Azeez Ojulari might be a little rough around the edges, but he has rare explosiveness that could be an instant hit in the NFL if it’s harnessed in the right way. The Georgia standout has 10 sacks in his last 17 games and boasts the sort of pass-rushing refinement normally associated with a seasoned veteran despite his tender age.

His ability to set the edge in run support will need to improve, as will Ojulari’s adjustments to get off blocks against more imposing linemen at the next level. But there is plenty to like about his chances of forging a successful professional career.