5 potential liabilities on the Carolina Panthers in 2022

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
2 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers pass-rush

After losing Haason Reddick in free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles, there are now some concerns about the pass-rushing options available in 2022. While it would have been costly to keep the former Temple star, his departure leaves a gaping hole opposite Brian Burns unless the likes of Yetur Gross-Matos and Marquis Haynes make strides.

Burns looks set for superstardom after his first Pro Bowl selection last season. The defensive end’s explosiveness is absolutely off the charts and if he can turn more pressures into sacks, then a double-digit campaign is well within his capabilities.

The Carolina Panthers can ill afford others failing to meet expectations. This will allow opposing protection schemes to focus heavily on Burns, restricting his overall influence at a time when he’s needed more than ever.

Gross-Matos and Haynes flashed from rotational roles last year. Taking the next step and becoming consistent with increased reps is the biggest obstacle remaining for the talented duo.

Carolina needs Derrick Brown and Matt Ioannidis to create havoc from the defensive line interior. There is also some hope that Amare Barno and Daviyon Nixon can produce the goods when called upon.

Replacing Reddick’s 11.5 sacks will be difficult. But the Panthers need their young guns to turn their potential into legitimate production at the earliest possible opportunity.