4 Carolina Panthers players who need a monster offseason in 2024

It's time for these Carolina Panthers players to show more...
Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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D.J. Johnson - Carolina Panthers OLB

The fact three of the players on this list were 2023 NFL Draft picks is a damning indictment of how Frank Reich's staff developed their young talent. It's also one of the many reasons previous general manager Scott Fitterer was deemed surplus to requirements once the campaign came to a merciful end.

D.J. Johnson was a shocking pick in Round No. 3 last year. The fact Carolina panicked and traded up for the six-year college player made it even worse. This was not the sort of development project teams normally go for. It came as no surprise to see him struggle during extremely limited involvement.

Johnson took considerable time to adjust. This wasn't unexpected when one considered his lack of experience as an edge rusher. But at 25 years old, it's time he simply doesn't have.

In 231 snaps on defense, Johnson had no sacks, no quarterback hits, and one pressure. He missed 15.8 percent of his tackles. There were times when he did flash setting the edge on running downs, but the jury is still out regarding his long-term aspirations.

It's not Johnson's fault that the Panthers traded up for him. He was seen as a Day 3 prospect by most analysts, so to make him a priority when edge rushers started flying off their board reeked of desperation. Therefore, they must make this move work.

Ejiro Evero reportedly approved the pick. He'll get another offseason to work with the player after narrowly missing out on head coaching jobs. Anything less than major improvements and the right commitment isn't going to go down well with a new regime that has absolutely no room for passengers.