3 unproven players the Carolina Panthers must rely on more in 2023
By Dean Jones
Brandon Smith - Carolina Panthers LB
There promises to be plenty of explosiveness within Ejiro Evero's new 3-4 base defense next season. The new defensive coordinator comes to the Carolina Panthers with a flourishing reputation, which could see a head coaching gig in 2024 if the progressive young mind continues this trend in a different environment.
Having athletic individuals capable of making plays consistently is the key cog in Evero's system. The Panthers look pretty set in this regard aside from finding another cornerback and someone else capable of generating pressure opposite Brian Burns.
Evero's arrival could mean bigger things for Brandon Smith as an NFL sophomore. The former fourth-round pick out of Penn State flashed moments of real quality when given more involvement by Steve Wilks, but a cruel injury ended his campaign just when some real momentum was starting to build.
That could be a small bump in the road for Smith, who looks set to occupy a key rotational role in 2023 providing he gets off on the right foot with Evero. Something that could provide the defensive second level with another injection of pace and power to go with the more proven commodities in Carolina.
Smith's talent and upside have never been in question. And the Panthers now possess a legitimate coaching staff capable of helping him achieve some loftier goals.