5 Carolina Panthers rookies who could steal starting jobs in 2021
Which Carolina Panthers rookie players could end up stealing starting jobs during the 2021 season?
There is much expected of the young players occupying positions on the Carolina Panthers next season. Head coach Matt Rhule hitched his wagon to a youth movement almost from the first day he arrived from Baylor, which comes with obvious flaws but was a necessary evil during an obvious period of transition for the organization.
This was further enhanced by the Panthers during the 2021 NFL Draft. General manager Scott Fitterer gave a trade management masterclass in his first experience as the primary decision-maker, leaving Carolina with 11 picks and even a 2022 fourth-rounder courtesy of a deal with the Houston Texans.
Some rookies will be thrown in at the deep end. Others will get more time to fully adjust and develop their respective skill sets.
However, there is a possibility some first-year players drafted by the Panthers could end up stealing a starting spot during the 2021 campaign. Here are five possible candidates.
Player No. 1
Deonte Brown – Carolina Panthers OG
There is something highly intriguing about Deonte Brown. The formidable interior offensive lineman enjoyed a dominant college career at Alabama and if he ends up doing the same in the NFL, the Panthers will have the biggest draft steal in recent memory.
Brown is a stout presence in run blocking. He also provides a surprising amount of athleticism in passing situations for someone of his bulk.
This is the biggest concern where the guard is concerned. Carolina needs to keep a close eye on his weight in pursuit of getting him involved early on within a positional group that is in desperate need of some stability.
The sixth-round pick needs a strong training camp and solid performances during preseason games. If Brown manages to accomplish this, then a starting job might not be far behind.