5 players Panthers should monitor in National Championship game

(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) Mac Jones
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) Mac Jones /
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Carolina Panthers
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Pete Werner /

Pete Werner – LB (Ohio State)

The linebacker position might not be the need it once was where the Carolina Panthers are concerned. Jermaine Carter performed well when he replaced free-agent signing Tahir Whitehead after finally patching things up with head coach Matt Rhule, which might result in the former fifth-round pick given a more prolonged chance to start in 2021.

That being said, the Panthers do need additional depth within the unit, especially if stud rookie Jeremy Chinn is moved back to safety after spending his first season at the next level as an outside linebacker. Although not considered one of the top prospects, Pete Werner could be a potential steal in the 2021 NFL Draft that comes with an intriguing skill set.

Werner has been the victim of some outstanding talent at the second level at Ohio State. But he has gradually become a three-down presence that has been tasked with plenty of responsibility both in the run game and in coverage this season.

This is a challenge he has risen to in no uncertain terms. Werner has a high football IQ and quality athleticism that enables him to be a sideline-to-sideline presence. But the player is sure to have his hands full against Alabama’s formidable running attack led by Najee Harris in the National Championship game.

If Werner can come through this test with flying colors, then it won’t go unnoticed by teams like the Panthers.