4 final thoughts ahead of first practice at Panthers training camp in 2021

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Erving /

Carolina Panthers must solve OL riddle

Perhaps the biggest problem area where the Carolina Panthers are concerned is the offensive line. Simply put, acquiring Sam Darnold will be for nothing if the signal-caller cannot get enough time to go through his progressions in the face of some stern pressure.

One only has to look at the problems Darnold experienced at MetLife Stadium to see what might happen if the protection isn’t spot on.

Taylor Moton and Matt Paradis are the two guaranteed starters. Nobody else can say with any great confidence they can also fill a role.

The left tackle position is the gravest complication. Cam Erving’s production since entering the league hardly screams franchise edge protector and third-round pick Brady Christensen could be switched to the interior despite some exceptional blindside production at BYU.

Much will depend on how the rookies – which also include Deonte Brown and David Moore – perform when the pads go on at camp. The pressure is also on the likes of Greg Little and Dennis Daley, who are quickly running out of chances.

It doesn’t matter who plays, just as long as the Panthers get the right formula. Bringing in additional reinforcements is also something those in power should strongly consider with $24 million in salary-cap space remaining.