Can the Carolina Panthers OL hold up?
What are your thoughts on our offensive line facing the Browns’ defense in Week 1? Do we have an edge or is Myles Garrett gonna have a day? I’m worried as they look threatening on both edges and their WILL had a good rookie season too. – Wilson
Thank you for sending in your question, Wilson!
As I mentioned at the start of this article, general manager Scott Fitterer kept his promise of improving the offensive line through free agency and the NFL Draft. He went out and signed center Bradley Bozeman and right guard Austin Corbett, with Ikem Ekwonu also joining the Carolina Panthers as their No. 6 overall selection.
Looking at the Panthers’ current offensive line depth chat, they look a lot better in the trenches on paper. We saw glimpses of what the pass protection could look like this season, especially in the dress rehearsal preseason game against the Buffalo Bills a few weeks ago.
However, just because a certain position group looks better on paper than a year ago, doesn’t mean it does get better immediately.
In my opinion, Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett is the best edge rusher in the NFL. He offers a freakish first step and rare athleticism at the position and for his size and is as refined of a pass rusher as you will find.
If you’re looking for a game-wrecker, No. 99 is that type of player. Garrett will ruin your team’s day.
Facing the Browns’ defensive line is a tough challenge only because of Garrett. The rest of the group is adequate at best.
Defensive tackles Jordan Elliott and Taven Bryan are currently listed as the starters along with Jadeveon Clowney playing opposite Garrett. These three aren’t world-beaters by any means, but they are capable players.
I am more concerned about the Browns’ defensive line rotation. Rookie Alex Wright and defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey were well-regarded mid-round selections in the draft and I expect them to make an impact when they enter the game.
With that said, Ekwonu and, or, Taylor Moton will need help on occasions against Garrett, especially in third and long situations when the offense has its back against the wall. Look for offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to implement chip blocks regularly on whichever side of the field the former Texas A&M star aligns.
If the Panthers can successfully defend Garrett in the trenches, which is no easy task for any team, the chances of a win rise significantly.