5 free-agent DTs for Panthers to pair with Derrick Brown in 2021

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Derrick Brown
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Derrick Brown /
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Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

How could the Carolina Panthers improve at the defensive tackle position?

The defensive line of the Carolina Panthers was always a place of pride during the Ron Rivera era, with pieces like Star Lotulelei and the recently released Kawaan Short clogging up the middle.

However, the departure of Lotulelei in free agency and the past few seasons of injuries from Short have left the Panthers looking for answers. Carolina’s interior line had only five sacks last year and while that statistic isn’t necessarily the most important, it does show a lack of meaningful penetration on a consistent basis.

One of those answers was found in the addition of Derrick Brown via the no. 7 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Brown had a standout first year in the pros, leading all rookie players at the position with 20 solo tackles and ranking third in tackles for a loss among first-year defensive tackles with eight.

However, he was only able to translate two of his 34 pressures and 12 quarterback hits into sacks last year, and while having that many hits are a promising statistic it doesn’t always translate well.

Brown has the potential to be at the least a great rotational piece and at best a superstar with the ability to stop the run and rush the quarterback. But as it stands right now the Panthers desperately need a complimentary piece to run alongside the former Auburn stud and help translate those pressures into sacks.

Carolina Panthers have a big opportunity in free agency.

With the falling salary cap as a result of lost revenue during the 2020 season, there will be plenty of options out there that wouldn’t normally be available. Players that teams would love to keep but have to let walk because of more pressing needs.

Whether that be an up-and-coming young player or a veteran nearing the end of a storied carrier that can be an effective mentor, the Panthers should be looking at everyone that comes available.

So without further ado, here are five free-agent defensive tackles the Carolina Panthers should consider signing this offseason.