4 Carolina Panthers that must get more playing time under Steve Wilks

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Brandon Smith
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Brandon Smith /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Amare Barno /

Amare Barno – Carolina Panthers DE/OLB

The Carolina Panthers’ defensive front has three quality playmakers producing the goods consistently. Brian Burns remains a serious threat coming off the edge, Derrick Brown is playing at an elite level and Matt Ioannidis has become a fantastic complimentary piece for the former No. 7 overall selection on the interior.

If the Panthers had a stable presence at the second defensive end position, this would be among the league’s most productive foursomes. However, Henry Anderson’s contributions are fleeting and Yetur Gross-Matos saw his snaps drop to 49 percent at the Los Angeles Rams with Matt Rhule out of the picture.

There is another possibility Steve Wilks could call upon in the not-too-distant future. Amare Barno was seen as a development project that could progress into something more over time, but it’s been surprising to see so little involvement considering the team’s struggles opposite Burns in 2022.

Barno is a little lightweight for an NFL defensive end. However, there is enough explosiveness to suggest he could make a rotational impact if he’s found his feet at the pro level.

What’s the worst that could happen? Carolina is going nowhere fast, so throwing young players like Barno into the deep end for proper evaluation purposes is absolutely essential before the 2022 season concludes.

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