Carolina Panthers 53-man roster predictions following 2022 NFL Draft

(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers LBs

  • Shaq Thompson, Frankie Luvu, Damien Wilson, Cory Littleton, Brandon Smith.

Another offseason, another middle linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. Something that’s become an ongoing theme ever since Luke Kuechly announced his shock retirement following the 2019 campaign.

Kuechly’s production might not ever be matched. But Jermaine Carter’s inconsistency last time around meant the Panthers went back to the drawing board in pursuit of a more productive alternative.

It looked like they might have found it in former Super Bowl winner Damien Wilson. However, his recent arrest might end up seeing the veteran cut loose without playing a down depending on what emerges in the not-too-distant future.

Carolina also picked up Cory Littleton, who thrives in coverage but has difficulty against the run. The outside positions should be productive thanks to the presence of Shaq Thompson and Frankie Luvu, with the Panthers also making a bold move up during the draft to secure the services of Brandon Smith.

Much will depend on Wilson’s status and how quickly Smith can put his exceptional athletic traits to good use. But there should be enough energy at the second level based on how things stand right now.