4 Carolina Panthers veterans who could lose their jobs to rookie upstarts in 2023

Keith Taylor Jr.
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Carolina Panthers OLB opposite Brian Burns

It's been surprising to see the Carolina Panthers overlook their edge rushing options opposite Brian Burns. The coaching staff clearly believes they can coax more out of Amare Barno, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Marquis Haynes Sr., which would be an ideal scenario that could also save some much-needed funds to spend elsewhere for good measure.

This is a gamble whichever way one looks at it. Burns will be leading the charge and could excel further, but if no consistent pressure emerges from the opposite side of Ejiro Evero's creative 3-4 base scheme, it won't take long for opposing offenses to exploit it.

The Panthers do have a potential ace up their sleeve. With pass-rushing options flying off their draft board, general manager Scott Fitterer traded up to No. 80 overall for D.J. Johnson, which raised more than a few eyebrows given his pre-draft projections.

Johnson is still learning the edge position after transferring from a tight end. His physical tools are eye-catching, but there is a lot of hard work ahead for the six-year college player in pursuit of earning involvement right out of the gate.

If Johnson takes on coaching and others fluff their lines, the Panthers might have no choice other than to throw him in at the deep end if they are intent on standing pat with their current options. But it's hard to say one way or another this early into workouts.