What each Carolina Panthers rookie will struggle with during 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Deonte Brown /

Deonte Brown – Carolina Panthers OL

  • Maintaining the right conditioning.

Deonte Brown is a formidable interior offensive lineman who comes to the Carolina Panthers on the back of a dominant campaign with Alabama on their way to yet another national championship in 2020. If the player wants similar success in the NFL, then he must remain fully focused on every facet of his game.

It’s unlikely Brown will see substantial reps in the early part of the season. This makes conditioning and weight control even more important where the player is concerned.

Brown’s nutrition and what he’s getting up to away from the gridiron will be monitored closely by the Panthers. Any slip could have a detrimental impact on his chances of earning a starting role later in the campaign.

Shi Smith – Carolina Panthers WR

  • Getting off press coverage.

Shi Smith was a hugely popular selection by the Panthers and one that could be worth its weight in gold. The wide receiver has left a good impression over the early part of Carolina’s offseason program, which he’ll look to enhance at training camp and whatever reps come his way during the preseason.

Smith is a smooth route-runner that breaks ankles regularly. That won’t go unnoticed by opposing defensive schemes, who’ll look to jam the South Carlina product at the line of scrimmage to prevent him from getting to his spot.

The rookie cannot be classed as the most physically imposing. So getting off press coverage could be a challenge for Smith initially.