4 draft prospects the Carolina Panthers should watch in CFB championship

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Max Duggan
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Max Duggan /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Dylan Horton /

Carolina Panthers should watch Dylan Horton

  • Defensive End/Outside Linebacker | TCU Horned Frogs

It’s been evident with the edge play opposite Brian Burns that the Carolina Panthers are in need of a No. 2 pass rusher to complement the two-time Pro Bowler. Yetur Gross-Matos failed to reach the expectations of his 2nd-round draft selection, leaving the team in need of another pass rusher once more.

If you watched the TCU-Michigan playoff semifinal, this was likely your first exposure to Dylan Horton, whose name could start working its way around the league should he attend the Senior Bowl.

In TCU’s 3-3-5 defense, Horton showcased great versatility as he lined up in 4 and 5-technique alignments along the formation. This allows him to be impactful against the run and pass, forcing opposing offensive lines to account for where he is when it comes to protection calls at the line of scrimmage.

Horton is more of a linear athlete. On film, he looks tight in the hips and does not bend well. Though, he’s shown to corner fairly well off the edge. The prospect’s first-step quickness and violence at the point of attack make him an intriguing developmental prospect at the next level.

The Horned Frogs’ top pass rusher still has a ways to go when it comes to his pass rush plan and does not offer a lot of production in this area. What Horton does offer is a great physical profile, athleticism, and non-stop motor that allows him to make plays from the backside and in pursuit.

Should Horton show out at either the Shrine Bowl or Senior Bowl, he would be a potential target in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft.