5 players the Panthers could have drafted instead of Greg Little

(Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) Greg Little
(Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) Greg Little /
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Carolina Panthers
(Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports) Chase Winovich /

Chase Winovich – DE

Chase Winovich has really come to the fore for the New England Patriots in recent weeks. The defensive end was a surprising contributor during his rookie campaign – recording 5.5 sacks – and he seems to have developed his overall game considerably during the offseason.

This has brought around some eye-catching progress on a three-down basis. Winovich has benefitted from a number of COVID-19 opt-outs on the Patriots defense in 2020 and looks to have a promising career ahead of him.

The Carolina Panthers struck gold when they drafted Brian Burns at No. 16 overall in 2019. The stud edge rusher is now one of the best in the business when it comes to opposing backfields and his game should only get stronger once the front office gets a better supporting cast around him next spring.

It would’ve been a big shock to allocate their first two picks on defensive ends, especially considering the likes of Bruce Irvin, Vernon Butler, and Mario Addison were still on the roster at the time.

However, Winovich looks set to be a productive player that has the sort of attitude, talent, and enthusiasm the Panthers need to get them from also-rans to a possible contender once again.