5 emerging alphas on the Carolina Panthers in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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Which Carolina Panthers players could become team alphas during the 2022 season? 

After so much misery and underachievement in recent years, the Carolina Panthers head into the campaign with their fortunes up in the air. There is a lot to like about the talent in certain positional groups, but the quarterback spot remains a concern and many around the league believe that Matt Rhule is a lame-duck head coach to further increase doubts.

This changes with a positive run of results. The Panthers need to hit the ground running with five of their first six games at Bank of America Stadium and anything less would be disastrous given how difficult things get after that.

Everyone on the depth chart needs to play their part. But some must also assume more in the way of responsibilities both on the field and within the locker room.

With this in mind, here are five Panthers players who could become potential alphas in 2022.

Alpha No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers OLB

There is no doubt about Shaq Thompson’s growing influence within the Carolina Panthers. The outside linebacker is one of the team’s longest-serving figures and a trusted ally of Matt Rhule, who has sought his counsel this offseason in a bid to become a more player-centered environment in 2022.

Thompson took time to look comfortable in a leadership role after Luke Kuechly retired and Thomas Davis departed in free agency. The former first-round pick is now fully acclimatized to these newfound responsibilities and will be counted upon heavily next season.

If Thompson can continue producing the goods on the field and inspire away from the gridiron, then a new contract for the Washington product isn’t the big stretch it once was.