Carolina Panthers must get serious about the TE position
In addition to quarterback, the Carolina Panthers have a glaring need for a receiving tight end. Since the departure of Greg Olsen, there’s been very little receiving production from the spot, which has to change.
This lack of production continued in 2022. Something that was recently highlighted by Ellis Williams of the Charlotte Observer.
"“Tight ends Ian Thomas, Tommy Tremble and Giovanni Ricci combined for 471 yards on 48 catches. That stat line — three players combined — ranks 15th among all tight ends, behind Bears tight end Cole Kmet.”"
In their defense, the Panthers’ passing offense struggled in 2022 due to shoddy quarterback play. Under Steve Wilks, they eventually moved to a ground-and-pound offense, which limited the number of overall targets and partly stifled the production.
Nevertheless, the best NFL offenses feature a true pass-catching tight end threat. This keeps defenses off-balance and allows offenses to be more unpredictable. None of the Panthers’ tight ends appear to be capable of this.
Therefore, Scott Fitterer must address this if the Panthers hope to resemble a modern NFL offense.
Luckily, both free agency and the 2023 draft class are set to feature great options. The Panthers could target Dalton Schultz from the Dallas Cowboys or Mike Gesicki from the Miami Dolphins. Meanwhile, they could look to draft Dalton Kincaid from Utah or Darnell Washington out of Georgia.
There have been instances in the past where the Panthers’ front office tried to fix significant needs with patchwork, low-end free agents. For example, the 2021 season was ruined by a patchwork offensive line.
If Fitterer wants to earn the trust of fans, he needs to get serious about addressing this obvious need.