4 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat entering the 2024 NFL Draft

Jonathan Mingo
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Austin Corbett - Carolina Panthers C

After Bryce Young spent most of an underwhelming first NFL season running for his life, the Carolina Panthers made strengthening their offensive line interior their biggest priority above all else when the free-agent frenzy commenced. Those in power made significant investments to find two new starting guards, something that should help considerably as the quarterback looks to bounce back in 2024.

Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis look like an imposing, physically gifted guard tandem capable of significantly upgrading consistency. After the Panthers released Bradley Bozeman, all signs point to Austin Corbett transitioning to the center spot unless there's a drastic shift in approach.

Corbett is an accomplished performer in his own right. The former second-round selection is experienced enough with the high-level football IQ needed to make this positional switch go seamlessly. However, there are some concerns attached that cannot be ignored.

After spending the large majority of his NFL career at the right guard position, Corbett has no recent experience in manning the center spot, which is one of the most important positions on offense from a communication standpoint. He's also coming off two severe knee injuries in consecutive seasons, so durability is quickly becoming problematic for the Nevada product.

Confidence remains high in Corbett's ability to put a consistent run of games together. At the same time, the Panthers should be examining center options from an exceptionally deep draft class for a longer-term solution.

This is a stacked group of college linemen across all positions. The Panthers would be wise to take advantage of that fact. If those in power take the plunge with one of their early second-round picks, the chances are that the prospect will be ready for starting responsibilities immediately.

Corbett has no immediate competition for his spot as it stands right now. But it wouldn't be the biggest shock in the world to see that change once the 2024 NFL Draft is confined to the history books.