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

Dean Jones
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com via IMAGN Content Services) Frankie Luvu /

The rest

  • Frankie Luvu, Paddy Fisher, Marquis Haynes, Clay Johnston, Julian Stanford.

As stated previously, depth could become a concern for the Carolina Panthers at linebacker if an established starter is forced to miss a considerable period of time.

The addition of Frankie Luvu comes with some upside. He showed enough on the New York Jets to suspect he could become part of the rotation, but it’s a big training camp awaiting the player in new surroundings.

Marquis Haynes has proved a versatile edge rusher who can make things happen on the outside or with his hand in the dirt as a defensive end. This is something the Panthers clearly love in their players and he is another that is fighting for a new contract at the end of the campaign.

The return of Julian Stanford on a one-year deal gives him a chance to stake a claim for a bigger role. He emerged as a valuable special teams contributor in 2020 and being around the team last season is a solid foundation from which to build.

This also applies to Clay Johnston. The undrafted free-agent worked with Matt Rhule at Baylor and was on the practice squad throughout the year without quite doing enough to elevate himself onto the 53-man roster.

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Paddy Fisher failed to hear his name called during the 2021 NFL Draft before joining Carolina. He is more of an old-school linebacker compared to the way the position is currently evolving across the league, so it remains to be seen whether he can do enough to make the team this summer.