Darryl Johnson – Carolina Panthers DE
Striking a deal with the Buffalo Bills for Darryl Johnson last season was one of the strangest moves made by the Carolina Panthers. The defensive lineman featured just three times in 2021 and was only used for special teams purposes during this brief spell of involvement, making this offseason period a very important one for the player.
Johnson was seen as a development project that might be able to carve out a rotational role over time. He has the size and speed that the Panthers value heavily in their recruits and with Haason Reddick now on the Philadelphia Eagles, there is an opening for someone to fill on the pass-rushing depth chart.
Whether Johnson can seize this is another matter. Carolina drafted Amare Barno in the sixth round, which only provides the North Carolina A&T product with more competition during the upcoming preparation period.
This can go one of two ways for Johnson. Either the player takes on this challenge positively and wins over the coaching staff, or he remains on the fringes or worse due to a lack of development.
Johnson is another strong practice squad candidate if things don’t go as anticipated. But the chances of another team taking a look could be high if the Panthers do not put him on the 53-man roster initially.