Grading Panthers position groups on defense after the 2021 draft

(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
1 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Phil Snow /

How are the Carolina Panthers looking on the defensive side of the football following an entertaining 2021 NFL Draft for the franchise?

It’s been an eventful offseason for the Carolina Panthers as they look to build in Year 2 of Matt Rhule’s tenure as head coach. They’ve been extremely active both in free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft bringing in the right quality to the organization that might see them become a playoff contender if everything clicks into place right away.

The defense took primary focus for the Panthers with limited resources available during the free-agent period. This should make this unit a force to be reckoned with providing the new additions make notable contributions, with Phil Snow’s options boosted further during an eventful draft weekend where Carolina was concerned.

The term “defense wins championships” didn’t happen by accident.

This part of the field is the cornerstone of every great NFL team that’s achieved success over the years. But the Panthers at least have a chance to make some significant noise with dynamic players in almost every area of the field.

Carolina’s rookie class might go through some growing pains initially. But their athleticism, attitude, and outstanding production at the college level leave plenty of reasons to be encouraged.

If the Panthers continue to progress from a defensive standpoint and Sam Darnold lives up to his billing under center, then it might see Carolina become one of the league’s surprise packages in 2021.

With this in mind, we took another look at the position groups on defense and graded them following the draft.