4 Carolina Panthers who might be surprisingly safe after 2024 NFL Draft

Jammie Robinson
Jammie Robinson / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Shy Tuttle - Carolina Panthers DL

Nobody was expecting veteran Shy Tuttle to be cut or anything close at this stage of the offseason. The defensive lineman went through some struggles after not being especially suited to the nose tackle position. This was glaring upon further examination of his game tapes from the 2023 campaign, so most envisaged competition arriving at the very least.

The Carolina Panthers need a genuine space-filler to man the anchor of Ejiro Evero's 3-4 base front. It was an overlooked need last season and remains so to this day after Dan Morgan didn't allocate any of his draft picks to a gifted individual from the collegiate level.

Tuttle seems to have a clear run to the starting job without much of a fight from elsewhere. Perhaps the Panthers think Nick Thurman can build on the flashes displayed last season, but at 6-foot-4 and a tad over 300 pounds, he seems better suited to a 3-4 defensive end role.

This is a gamble, to put it mildly. Perhaps the signing of A'Shawn Robinson to put alongside Derrick Brown next to Tuttle might bring more out of the player. Perhaps those in power are banking on Jadeveon Clowney's prowess against the run to provide a helping hand that can raise the performance levels of others.

But there's just no telling for sure.

What this does represent is the lack of genuine investment into Carolina's defense this offseason. They are placing almost all their eggs in quarterback Bryce Young's basket. They are hoping Evero's exceptional credentials and that of his coaching staff can do more with less. That's been the plan since Morgan took charge and is likely to remain the case throughout the summer.

Whether it reaps the necessary rewards is up for debate. But if Tuttle once again fluffs his lines, Morgan might live to regret the decision not to increase urgency with additional competition.