4 reasons why the Carolina Panthers could struggle in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /

Carolina Panthers offensive line fails to deliver

It was head-scratching to see the Carolina Panthers relatively ignore the obvious problems emerging on their offensive line this offseason. Letting left tackle Russell Okung walk in free agency just one year after his trade from the Los Angeles Chargers was a given, but who came in to replace the Pro Bowler was head-scratching, to say the least.

The Panthers know exactly what they are getting from Taylor Moton, who is one of the league’s most consistent right tackles and will hopefully get the long-term deal he deserves before competitive action begins.

Center Matt Paradis is the only other guaranteed starter, but it remains to be seen just how he’s going to perform on the final year of his deal.

Carolina has an intriguing rookie trio of Brady Christensen, Deonte Brown, and undrafted free-agent David Moore. But the additions of Pat Elflein and Cam Erving haven’t exactly come with a sense of excitement.

If the protection cannot hold out sufficiently, it’s going to be a real problem for the Panthers and their new quarterback Sam Darnold.

Matt Rhule is fully aware that acquiring the signal-caller was a gamble. So keeping him upright is going to be essential.

Whether their offensive line options are capable of this remains to be seen.