4 position groups the Carolina Panthers must upgrade in 2023

(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 upgrade TE spot

The Carolina Panthers have needed a pass-catching tight end since Greg Olsen’s exit. Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas provide excellent service when it comes to blocking, but they offer very little when it comes to providing assistance in the passing game.

Tremble and Thomas received the Panthers’ two lowest offensive grades for the 2022 season according to Pro Football Focus. This is primarily down to their lack of impact catching the football.

The former Notre Dame standout produced 19 receptions with 174 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2022. Thomas tallied 21 catches for 197 receiving yards and no scores.

If general manager Scott Fitterer looks to add via free agency there are several intriguing options. Mike Gesicki, Dalton Schultz, or Evan Engram immediately spring to mind, with Irv Smith Jr. emerging as another tempting proposition despite his recent injury struggles.

Any of those options would be an upgrade when it comes to the passing game. Although it would be worth Thomas sticking around for his elite blocking.

With Fitterer getting more say in personnel moves without Matt Rhule, a trade could also arise at any time to address the team’s need for a tight end.