6 linebackers the Carolina Panthers could pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Micah Parsons
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Micah Parsons /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) Micah Parsons /

Which linebacker prospects could the Carolina Panthers target in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The sudden retirement of Carolina Panthers’ linebacker great Luke Kuechly in January 2020 left the team’s linebacker corps in shambles. Replacing such a legendary figure was never going to be easy, but this area of the field was a glaring weakness last season.

There aren’t a lot of players that have played football that could have stepped in and immediately replaced the production and value of the Panthers‘ former five-time All-Pro and former Defensive Player of the Year.  But doing so with Tahir Whiteside ranks up there on the list of swings and misses by Carolina in franchise history.

There were some bright spots at the position as last season progressed. Rookie Jeremy Chinn was the best player on the Panthers’ defense but his future will be at the free safety position. Jermaine Carter Jr. was inserted into the lineup during the second half of the campaign in place of Whiteside and production from the middle linebacker improved as a result.

Carolina Panthers made some solid moves at LB in free agency.

This offseason, the Panthers signed former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman to take over for Carter at the middle linebacker position on a two-year deal. Carolina also signed former Arizona Cardinal edge rusher Hasson Reddick to a one-year deal.

The addition of Perryman and Reddick next to Shaq Thompson immediately places the Panthers as having one of the best starting linebacker units in the NFL. Carter will most certainly see playing time at the SAM position as Reddick lines up as a defensive end at times.

Free-agent signee Frankie Luvu and the returning Christian Miller will see time as well. The Panthers could also look to the 2021 NFL Draft to select a player to take over duties long-term after the deals of Perryman and Reddick expire or to simply add more depth to the position.

Let’s take a look at potential linebacker options for the Panthers on each day during the 2021 NFL Draft.