4 backups Panthers should start over final 2 games of 2020
By Dean Jones
Sam Franklin – Carolina Panthers S
Another backup who could use more in the way of game time is Sam Franklin. The talented safety was another undrafted free-agent find by the Carolina Panthers and there was a lot to like about the way he applied himself when starting safety Juston Burris was injured earlier this season with a rib problem.
Franklin has found chances hard to come by since then and hasn’t played a first-team snap over the last couple of games. It’s hard to gauge just what sort of future the player has with the Panthers, which is exactly why he needs to get more involved.
The five-game stretch where Franklin was used prominently saw some flashes of brilliance from the former Temple star, who slotted into the lineup seamlessly thanks to his previous knowledge of the system after working with head coach Matt Rhule at the college level.
He recorded 20 tackles during this time and gave up seven receptions from 11 targets on his way to a modest 54.9 grade from Pro Football Focus. But the fact such an unfancied prospect was preferred to fifth-round selection Kenny Robinson is further proof of just what Carolina’s coaching staff thinks of him.
With plenty of questions surrounding both Burris and Tre Boston, allocating more in the way of reps in Franklin’s direction would be a shrewd move with potential long-term benefits.