4 Carolina Panthers rookies with unrealistic expectations in 2021

Dean Jones
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Spencer Brown /

Which Carolina Panthers rookies could go into the 2021 season with some unrealistic expectations on their shoulders?

With rookie minicamp now firmly in the books, the Carolina Panthers have a better indication of what they can expect from their draft class in their first season in a professional environment. This was only their first taste of life in the NFL just a few short weeks from either hearing their name called or being picked up on the undrafted free-agent market, so it was probably nice for them to start focusing on football once again.

Some first-year pros will be counted on more than others. Those who were taken at the top-end of the draft come into the Panthers with big reputations thanks to outstanding production in college. With a more stable offseason period to call upon, it could result in fewer complications regarding their transition to competitive action in the big leagues.

It’s easy to get carried away where rookie players are concerned. Putting on a YouTube clip of a prospect drafted can lead to some false illusions more often than not, but considering general manager Scott Fitterer’s reputation for finding top talent from the college ranks from his time with the Seattle Seahawks, his recruitment should be trusted until proven otherwise.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at four Panthers rookies who might go into the 2021 season with unrealistic expectations.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Deonte Brown /

Deonte Brown – Carolina Panthers OG

If anyone is expecting Deonte Brown to immediately slot in and become a Day 1 starter on the offensive line, they might want to think twice. Tempering expectations surrounding a player who was drafted in the sixth-round might be the smart way to go, even though there is a chance the former Alabama star could become a factor as the season progresses.

Brown was a dominant force at the college level for the Crimson Tide and there won’t be many bigger guards across the league. However, there are still elements of his game that need some refinement if he is to make the most out of his imposing qualities against faster and more powerful defensive linemen in the pros.

The Panthers know that Brown is a work in progress. His weight needs to be closely monitored and the player also needs to show the right work ethic to fit in with what Matt Rhule is trying to build. So even though some fans might be expecting otherwise, it would be a shock to see him start right away despite the relative lack of quality on the depth chart.