5 Carolina Panthers players who aren’t getting enough respect

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB

It’s easy for Shaq Thompson to be the scapegoat. That’s just the way it went for him last season.

However, the player doesn’t get the credit he deserves to a certain extent, and here’s why.

Much was expected of Thompson when the Carolina Panthers selected the outside linebacker at No. 25 overall out of Washington in the 2015 NFL Draft. Many prospects picked in this region tend to fall flat on their face, so it could have been a lot worse.

Thompson has his limitations, obviously. These were exposed more than ever without the presence of perennial All-Pro Luke Kuechly alongside him at the second level in 2020.

However, this is a player who has racked up 86 games and 430 tackles during his six years in Carolina so far and he remains a big part of their plans on defense heading into the 2021 season.

The Panthers will be relying heavily on Thompson to come up with the goods for a young defense that has plenty going for it.  He isn’t going to blow anybody away with his pass-rushing and recent struggles in coverage have been damning, but it’s clear Carolina isn’t ready to give up on him just yet.

Thompson might be disrespected, but if things don’t return to normal for the player next season, it won’t take long for the finger of blame to be pointed in his direction.