5 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers’ 2021 season

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brady Christensen /

Brady Christensen and Deonte Brown will both end the year as starters

This may not come across as particularly bold considering the Carolina Panthers’ well-publicized struggles at the offensive line.

Matt Rhule confirmed after the Pittsburgh Steelers game that the offensive line would be the same in Week 1 as it was that started the final preseason contest. So that means we’ll see Cam Erving, Patt Elflein, Matt Paradis, John Miller, and Taylor Moton line up against the New York Jets.

However, questions remain as the Steelers managed to get quite a lot of pressure early on against the O-line. Considering this was Pittsburgh’s second defensive unit, this will be a concern to Rhule and his staff.

Although the depth chart lists both Deonte Brown and Brady Christensen as backup right tackle and right guard, don’t be surprised to see both potentially end up starting on the left.

Christensen was a stud at blindside protector in college for BYU. In 385 pass-blocking snaps, he allowed just three pressures and a single sack. Many questions were asked about the quality of opposition, but that’s still a very impressive stat line.

With Erving’s notable struggles at left tackle throughout his NFL career, don’t be surprised to see the third-round pick oust the former Cleveland Brown.

Brown has been touted early on as somewhat of a steal, the former Alabama guard was taken 193rd overall after being named All-SEC in 2020. Concerns about his weight saw him fall to the sixth round.

The formidable figure – affectionately known as “Cornbread” in Tuscaloosa – is a big body. During his pro day in March, Brown was listed as 6-foot-3 and 346 pounds,

He started all 13 games in 2020 for the championship-winning Crimson Tide at left guard, allowing just half a sack, one pressure, and five quarterback hurries.

With Matt Paradis struggling in the preseason finale we may see Pat Elflein shifted to center at some stage, opening up a spot for Brown