Carolina Panthers: 2020 end of season awards

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Zach Kerr /

Zach Kerr – Carolina Panthers DT

The Carolina Panthers didn’t have their stud defensive tackle Kawann Short around as long as they would like. The veteran Pro Bowler has probably played his last game for the franchise after another early trip to the reserve/injured list, which piled pressure on first-round pick Derrick Brown and left many wondering whether anyone could step in and fill the void.

That man was Zach Kerr.

The free-agent signing seized the opportunity of a more increased role and became a vital cog in the overall progress made by Phil Snow’s defense since the start of the campaign. Kerr has formed a close bond with Brown on the interior and established himself as a beloved and respected member of the locker room in no time at all – which is another element to his influence that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Carolina might still draft a long-term partner for Brown in the 2021 NFL Draft, but this might not be the pressing need it once was thanks to the production from Kerr and also Efe Obada at the three-technique in pass-rushing situations.

Kerr has been a fantastic addition to the Panthers and there appears to be plenty still left in the tank to expect the same sort of contribution in 2021 providing there are no setbacks during the all-important offseason period.