5 projected Carolina Panthers starters who could be benched in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) John Miller
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) John Miller /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) John Miller /

John Miller – Carolina Panthers OG

Considering how poor the interior protection eventually became in 2020, it was something of a surprise to see the Carolina Panthers hand John Miller a one-year extension. This is coming with far less financial commitment than the $4 million he received last year, and there might be a chance he can make a better go of things with a more structured offseason to prepare.

Another thing Miller had going for him last time around was a distinct lack of depth that made his place more than secure throughout. Judging by the acquisitions made by the Panthers this offseason, that’s not going to be the case in 2021.

The likes of Pat Elflein, Deonte Brown, Cam Erving, and Brady Christensen could all fill the void if needed, with the sixth-round pick out of Alabama sure to be chomping at the bit to make an immediate impression in Year 1 of his professional career.

This represents a significant challenge for Miller, who gave up three sacks and conceded six penalties from 910 snaps last season on his way to a modest 61.2 grade from Pro Football Focus.

Hopefully, for the player and the Panthers, he can benefit greatly from the team’s decision to place the franchise tag on Taylor Moton, who is one of the best right tackles in the business.

If Miller cannot raise his game accordingly, then Carolina has other viable alternatives.