4 remaining weaknesses on the Panthers after Baker Mayfield trade
By Dean Jones
Could middle linebacker become a problem?
It’s another season where significant concerns are emerging at the middle linebacker position. There will never be another Luke Kuechly to rely upon, so the Carolina Panthers must make the best out of a bad situation before potentially targeting a long-term option during the 2023 draft.
Damien Wilson will likely start unless something more comes from a concerning arrest this offseason. Cory Littleton should also see some time on the interior in obvious passing situations and Brandon Smith is another that could play a part later in the campaign.
This might be a more collective approach to what we’ve seen in the past. It will also help to have Shaq Thompson and Frankie Luvu making their presences felt at the outside linebacker positions.
However, if the middle becomes a weak link once again, then every team Carolina comes up against will try to exploit it. In turn, this will make things difficult for Baker Mayfield and the offense to put up the points needed for success.
Again, the Panthers have some money left over to make further moves if things aren’t going as planned. For now, the likes of Wilson will be tasked with producing consistency and strong communication that hasn’t been there all that much since Kuechly hung up his cleats.