What exactly do the Carolina Panthers have at IOL in 2021?

Dean Jones
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis and Greg Little
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis and Greg Little /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) David Moore /

What exactly can the Carolina Panthers expect from their interior offensive linemen during a critical 2021 season for the franchise?

The Carolina Panthers made some impressive signings during free agency. But they will once again be relying on a mixed group of youth and experience on their offensive line.

This is a positional unit that needs to come on a great deal from its efforts in 2020. Providing they can do this, then the Panthers could be set for bigger and better things with Sam Darnold under center following his trade from the New York Jets.

Keeping Darnold upright is absolutely essential if the former USC star wants to start proving his doubters wrong. Pass protection often crumbled in Carolina during key moments of the previous campaign and it remains to be seen whether their current options can perform any more effectively next time around.

Carolina decided to focus the majority of their spending during free agency on the defensive side of the ball. While welcome, it’s left the interior protection looking a little threadbare in terms of quality and this could potentially come with some detrimental ramifications when it’s all said and done.

Only time will tell as to who’s going to start and how impactful they can be.

But one thing is certain. Darnold’s chances of becoming a starting-caliber NFL quarterback depends on it.

With this in mind, we took an in-depth look at what exactly the Panthers have within their interior offensive line heading into the 2021 season.