5 burning questions facing the Carolina Panthers OL in 2021

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Taylor Moton
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Taylor Moton /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Deonte Brown and Mike Panasiuk /

When will Deonte Brown be ready?

The Carolina Panthers didn’t draft Deonte Brown with a view to the player becoming a Day 1 starter.

It would be nice, obviously. But the former Alabama stud is seen as a development project that could slot in on the interior with a little more refinement in the coming months.

Brown is a gargantuan presence who was almost flawless for the Crimson Tide on their way to yet another national championship in 2020. Some analysts had him projected as a third-round pick before character and weight concerns reared their heads during the evaluation process, meaning he was available to the Panthers midway through Day 3.

Carolina’s staff will be keeping a close eye no only on Brown’s development, but his eating habits and conduct away from the team facility. However, head coach Matt Rhule claimed the player got a glowing recommendation from Nick Saban, who is one of the most respected figures in the college game and knows the lineman better than most.

This is a work in progress. Brown should make the roster, but whether he’ll be ready to see any meaningful reps will come down to his adjustments in a professional environment.

Watching how Brown gets on in the preseason should tell us more about just how long it’s going to take for him to contend for a starting spot.