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
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers must find another pass-rusher

Letting Haason Reddick leave in free agency for the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency was one of the biggest errors under Matt Rhule. The Carolina Panthers had confidence in Yetur Gross-Matos taking the necessary leap forward from a starting berth, but the former second-round selection has struggled to generate the pressure needed opposite Brian Burns through nine weeks.

This makes Burns even more important to the team’s plans. Carolina turned down an offer consisting of two first-round picks and a second-rounder from the Los Angeles Rams for his services, which is the biggest sign yet that the Panthers are going to pay the defensive end handsomely in the not-too-distant future.

Finding another explosive weapon to put on the other edge is essential if Gross-Matos cannot turn things around. Given how much these players get paid on the free-agent market, finding a cheaper, younger alternative from the college ranks is preferred and Carolina has the capital to potentially make this happen.

Whether that’s in Round No. 1 or with their three selections on Day 2 is anyone’s guess. One would expect it to be in the second or third round given their need for a franchise quarterback, but there’s just no telling for sure right now.

The Panthers need help in this area. If they find the right guy, it would give Carolina an electrifying defensive front providing Matt Ioannidis is extended.