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
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shelby Harris /

Shelby Harris

  • 2020 team – Denver Broncos

After suiting up for just eight games for the Las Vegas Raiders and spending the 2016 season bouncing between practice squads, the Denver Broncos signed Shelby Harris and he never looked back.

Piling up 34 tackles and 5.5 sacks in his first season with the Broncos. His superb work ethic and drive to keep at it after being cut by so many teams could ensure Harris becomes a welcome veteran addition to the Carolina Panthers.

Harris became a full-time starter in the 2019 season and got to the quarterback six times that year. They were off to another great start before stints on the COVID list and a knee injury derailed his 2020 campaign.

The player’s most eye-catching stat is his ability to affect the pass, a rarity among defensive tackles. Since becoming a starter Harris has defended 16 passes, showing an ability to rush the quarterback while still having the presence of mind to get his hands up.

During a Week 3 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Harris tallied two sacks off Tom Brady and would’ve had a third had the signal-caller not gotten the ball away at the last second.

A stat that should tempt the Panthers, who were only able to register a single sack of Brady all year. Harris would bring an underdog mentality and show the younger members of the roster how to make it in the NFL no matter what.

That mentality won’t come cheaply though, as a lot of teams will come calling including the one that gave him a chance no one else would.