4 free-agent defensive ends the Carolina Panthers should target in 2023

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Dante Fowler Jr.
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Dante Fowler Jr. /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star via IMAGN Content Services) Yannick Ngakoue /

Carolina Panthers could sign Yannick Ngakoue

No defensive end available this offseason should get more calls than the absolute game-wrecker that is Yannick Ngakoue.

A shockingly under-the-radar player for much of his career, Ngakoue has a truly spectacular ability to use speed to defeat even the best NFL offensive tackles. However, the player doesn’t let that speed advantage lead to overcommitting and breaking contain, something the Carolina Panthers struggled mightily with last season.

The main drawback of Ngakoue’s game is also the main attraction, namely that speed.

The imposing defensive end doesn’t use power or bull rush tactics to get the offensive line on the back foot and force them back into the quarterback. Instead, Ngakoue rushes around the edge before the tackle can even react and once that is ingrained in their mind, his inside moves can catch them off-guard.

This kind of rush pairs perfectly with Brian Burns on the other side who can use either power or speed to win 1-on-1 matchups. Carolina also has Derrick Brown collapsing the pocket with his massive amounts of sheer power.

Ngakoue is also squarely within the prime of their career at only 27 years old, something that would have to be appealing to a team trying to rebuild and not retool like the Panthers are at this point. The team needs building blocks, not one-year rentals.

Adding a 10-sack talent will not come cheap and the Panthers have plenty of other needs to consider at this point. However, this would be a dream come true for every fan.