Grading Panthers position groups on defense ahead of 2022 camp

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers DEs

There is an enormous amount of pressure on the pass-rushing options available to the Carolina Panthers in 2022. Haason Reddick is no longer around after joining the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency and the team didn’t do much strengthening in this area of the field to compensate for the Temple product’s departure.

This could either be a mistake or the vote of confidence some on the roster needed to take their games to new heights. Only time will tell in this regard.

Brian Burns will be the focal point entering a crucial Year 4 of his career. The explosive edge presence is coming off a campaign where he attained nine sacks and earned his first Pro Bowl selection, so any further improvements in production are going to give Carolina’s chances of progress a real shot in the arm.

Hopes are high that Yetur Gross-Matos can break out next season. The Penn State product has flashed promise over his opening two years in the league, but it remains to be seen how he’ll get on from a prominent starting role.

Marquis Haynes is another that might benefit from increased playing time after the Panthers gave him an extension this spring. Amare Barno, a sixth-round pick in 2022, is seen more as a development project that could assist later in the campaign.

Position Grade: B

Outside of Burns, there are plenty of unknowns. Although if the Panthers don’t like what they see, there is enough spare cash to pick up another veteran in free agency that could potentially contribute.