6 defensive players on the roster bubble ahead of Panthers 2021 camp

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Sean Chandler
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Sean Chandler /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Phil Hoskins /

Phil Hoskins – Carolina Panthers DT

The difference between a seventh-round pick and an undrafted free agent is marginal. Aside from the contract, they still have to start from the bottom and work their way up onto a potential rotational position – and even that is no guarantee looking back throughout history.

This task will fall onto Phil Hoskins in 2021. The Carolina Panthers got themselves a seventh-rounder after a flurry of trade activity during the draft and decided to allocate their final selection on the imposing defensive tackle out of Kentucky.

Hoskins is another big-bodied individual with a lot of likable athletic traits to call upon. Whether that will be enough to make a push for a place on the rotation in Year 1 of his professional career is another matter.

As stated previously, the Panthers have an abundance of quality options on their defensive front. This could mean Hoskins is on the outside looking in unless he makes a significant impression at training camp and whatever reps come his way in the preseason.

It will be an invaluable experience for Hoskins, either way. His high character and infectious personality make him a hard guy to root against, but that isn’t going to come into the team’s thinking when deciding who gets a place on the roster.

At the very worst, Hoskins should be a member of the practice squad. Although this would come with some risk if another team likes what they see in the player.