5 Carolina Panthers backups who’ll push for serious playing time in 2021

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver /
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Carolina Panthers
(Gary Cosby Jr./Tuscaloosa News via IMAGN images) Deonte Brown /

Deonte Brown – Carolina Panthers OL

Originally projected as a development project with starting potential in 2022, there is a growing sense of optimism that Deonte Brown will be ready to see meaningful reps much sooner than expected.

The sixth-round pick really caught the eye during the Carolina Panthers preseason schedule. Something that could be of use if things don’t go according to plan with those expected to start on the offensive line.

Brown is an imposing figure that absolutely dominated during his time at Alabama. His production in 2020 was the best of the guard’s young career to date and played a leading role in the Crimson Tide getting their hands on the national championship.

Character concerns and weight issues that caused Brown to slide dramatically during the draft haven’t surfaced as yet. The Panthers need to keep a close eye on both factors throughout the campaign, but his glowing recommendation from Nick Saban seems to be coming to fruition so far.

A long way to go, obviously.

But the Panthers couldn’t have asked for anymore where Brown is concerned.

Carolina’s offensive line poses arguably the biggest concern heading into the season. If the likes of Pat Elflein and John Miller fail to produce in the first few games, it might see the coaching staff throw Brown in at the deep end and seeing how he gets on.