Which positions must the Carolina Panthers upgrade this offseason to stand any chance of progression in 2023?
After the Carolina Panthers started off the season 1-4, Matt Rhule was fired and Steve Wilks became the interim head coach. Under his leadership, the franchise went on to have a record of 6-6, finishing the campaign 7-10.
The team was in the thick of winning the division until their Week 17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carolina made strides and established an identity with their tough offensive line and ability to pound the rock in the run game. Defensively, the Panthers were solid as well.
With that being said, there are still a few holes the Panthers must upgrade in order to make that playoff leap in 2023.
Whoever the head coach is in 2023 will want to make significant improvements to the following four positions.
Position No. 1
Carolina Panthers must upgrade LB spot
The Carolina Panthers have been hurting for a middle linebacker since the great Luke Kuechly retired. Their acquisition of Denzel Perryman in 2021 was short-lived after he was traded for a sixth-round pick. He then would go on to make the Pro Bowl with the Las Vegas Raiders that season.
Damien Wilson was slated to be the man in the middle in 2022 but didn’t receive many snaps. In 2023, the Panthers need to find their guy for the future to be a leader of their defense going forward.
As mentioned previously, the linebacker position could be addressed in the upcoming draft in either the second or third round. The team’s next middle linebacker could also be solved during free agency, even though the Panthers probably wouldn’t find their franchise player if they decided to take that avenue.