5 burning questions facing the Carolina Panthers DL in 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns and DaQuan Jones
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns and DaQuan Jones /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) DaQuan Jones /

Can Derrick Brown-DaQuan Jones tandem dominate?

The progression demonstrated by Derrick Brown during his rookie campaign was noticeable and left no doubt the Carolina Panthers made absolutely the right call by taking him at No. 7 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. This came despite no veteran presence alongside him after Kawann Short’s season ended early once again after just two games.

Short was released with one year remaining on his deal this offseason, which saved the Panthers a little more than $9 million in cap space. This left Carolina a little depleted, but the signing of DaQuan Jones late in free agency comes with a significant amount of upside.

Jones was a reliable figure during his time with the Tennessee Titans. He is a stout presence against the run and can generate pressure if required, so there is plenty to like about the defensive tackle tandem heading into 2021.

Both Brown and Jones are space eaters who can free up space for those coming off the edge. Not only this, but the former Auburn standout caused some significant disruption in opposing backfields last season despite being one of the NFL’s most double-teamed players at the position.

Carolina gave up 121 yards-per-game on the ground last season – ranked No. 18 in the league. Providing everything clicks into place at the second level and the partnership between Jones and Brown flourishes, then expect some real growth in this particular statistic.