3 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 18 vs. Bucs

The end of the regular season road has mercifully arrived...

Ikem Ekwonu
Ikem Ekwonu / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Could Carolina Panthers OL stay the same?

Can the OL as it is (with Zavala and BC back) be fixed next season by proper coaching/scheme or do we need additional players? - @LordVonZahrovic

Great question, one of which I have multiple answers to.

In theory, the Carolina Panthers offensive line, albeit when healthy, could be fixed next season with proper coaching and a scheme that includes a decent mix of zone and gap elements. As of January 4, I wouldn’t count out the 2024 starting offensive line still being Ikem Ekwonu, Brady Christensen, Bradley Bozeman, Austin Corbett, and Taylor Moton.

Surprisingly enough, Bozeman could be the odd man out if the team finds a quality starting center in free agency or the draft to compete with the former Baltimore Ravens starter.

That leads to the next answer to the question. This unit desperately needs additional players to either compete for or outright start at certain spots.

The No. 1 priority in this case is to find quality depth and developmental talent - whether it's through the NFL Draft or free agency. Chandler Zavala could compete for either guard spot, but he seems to be nothing more than replacement-level depth at this time.

Someone like Washington prospect Troy Fautanu or Arizona’s Jordan Morgan would be quality selections at No. 33 overall. This could either provide immediate depth at guard or make Ekwonu compete for his starting left tackle spot.

One of the things I have harped on while writing mock drafts is the importance of depth along the offensive line. It is scarce in the NFL today to find a team with legitimate backups across the board regarding this position group. When the Panthers have an opportunity this offseason to dive into what looks to be a rock-solid offensive line class, they should take full advantage of it.

Of course, a lot of this is dependent on how the next coaching staff feels about the group. The developments over the next several weeks and months will be quite intriguing.