4 Panthers players on defense under pressure to perform in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
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Which Carolina Panthers players on defense are under the most pressure to perform next season?

The Carolina Panthers look poised for big things on the defensive side of the ball if everything clicks into place right away. This was an area of the field where they invested heavily during free agency and further bolstered their options with some enticing prospects from the college ranks led by No. 8 overall selection Jaycee Horn out of South Carolina.

These acquisitions to a young, athletic unit could make all the difference. There should be no limitations as to the scheme implemented by defensive coordinator Phil Snow after a bedding-in period last time around, with almost every recruit coming with the versatility to play multiple spots should the opportunity arise.

This is going to be a fun defense to watch, of that there is little doubt. The Panthers did a nice job of filling problem holes that proved to be their downfall in 2020 and if things get a little better across the board next season, then a potential postseason push is not entirely out of the question.

Having the right roster on paper is all well and good.

But it will be for nothing if things don’t come together when it matters most.

Having a more structured offseason program will help, which is something the Panthers and others across the league weren’t afforded last summer due to COVID-19. Carolina also has some early opportunities to build momentum before things get tougher, which could be a nice springboard for bigger and better things to come.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at four Panthers players on defense under the most pressure to perform in 2021.