5 Panthers players who need to impose themselves at OTAs

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Dan Arnold
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Dan Arnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brady Christensen /

Which Carolina Panthers players need to give a good account of themselves during the first part of their offseason program in the coming weeks?

No sooner had rookie minicamp came to a conclusion, the next stage of the Carolina Panthers’ offseason workouts got underway. This is a vital time for teams across the league as they look to bed in new players and build chemistry ahead of training camp and the preseason, with solid foundations essential for Matt Rhule’s men as they look to make further strides in 2021.

There has been plenty of player turnover once again where the Panthers are concerned since the 2020 campaign came to a conclusion. Outside of the obvious big change at quarterback, the roster looks to have a far more vibrant look about it than at any stage over the last couple of seasons, which should make this a fun team to watch once again next time around.

That will count for nothing if Carolina cannot come through in the clutch during close games. This is something they were simply unable to do with Teddy Bridgewater under center and with Sam Darnold, an improved offensive line, and the return of Christian McCaffrey, there is hope things can start trending in the right direction.

It’s an important time of year for established veterans and unproven players as they look to stake their claim for a substantial role. Here are five Panthers players who need to impose themselves at OTAs.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein /

Pat Elflein – Carolina Panthers OG

The need for reinforcements on the offensive line was glaring for the Panthers heading into free agency. But the signing of Pat Elflein to kick things off didn’t exactly fit what the fanbase was looking for.

Elflein is versatile enough to play anywhere outside of the tackle positions on Carolina’s protection, even if he has struggled to find the consistency required over the last two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets. This is clearly a huge season for the player as he looks to reignite his career in a different environment, so getting off to a strong start at OTAs will be crucial.

If Elflein can do this and back it up with a solid preseason, then he might just earn a starting role on the interior. The Panthers aren’t blessed with anything in the way of quality in this area of the field, which is a deep concern going into the campaign, so the former Ohio State star might not have to do too much to win the job initially.