5 biggest Carolina Panthers needs at the 2022 midseason point

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas and Tommy Tremble /

Carolina Panthers must improve TE options

It’s been three years since the Carolina Panthers had anything like consistent production at the tight end position. Something that could see this become an area of significant need if things don’t improve over the second half of 2022.

Ian Thomas is never going to be what the Panthers hoped from a pass-catching standpoint. His blocking remains good, but the modern-day NFL requires much more and the former fourth-round selection could be on the chopping block in 2023 despite signing a new deal before free agency last spring.

Whether the likes of Tommy Tremble and Stephen Sullivan can emerge as legitimate No. 1 options in the coming weeks is debatable. If not, then expect the Panthers to seek a potential upgrade as a matter of urgency in free agency or the draft.

Carolina was spoilt by Greg Olsen’s outstanding numbers and ability in the red zone before he was allowed to leave for the Seattle Seahawks in 2020. Not having a stable presence has hurt the Panthers in the years following his departure, which piles extra pressure on whoever is under center for good measure.

There are a number of intriguing options emerging from the college ranks next spring. But the Panthers might also examine the veteran pool of free agents despite their lack of financial firepower right now.