4 linebackers Carolina Panthers should target after Justin Strnad's U-turn

It's back to the drawing board...

Justin Strnad
Justin Strnad / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers could draft Tommy Eichenberg

Of course, the cheapest solution to this dilemma is going down the draft route. The Carolina Panthers don't have a first-round pick to call upon, but they boast seven other selections across the remaining rounds to find immediate difference-makers and solidify depth.

After the Panthers signed Josey Jewell to replace Frankie Luvu and with Shaq Thompson coming back from injury, second-level depth with the scope to contribute from a starting capacity over time represents the best course of action. In the meantime, their chosen prospect can help right out of the gate as a development special teamer.

There are several intriguing candidates in this scenario. Tommy Eichenberg would fit this mold perfectly. The Ohio State prospect possesses some old-school linebacker traits that will no doubt endear him to new general manager Dan Morgan. He's got proven production over three years with the Buckeyes to back this up.

Eichenberg is an instinctive run defender with a short-area burst to hit the contact point quickly. He's got good instincts for play development, is relentless in pursuit, and likes nothing more than inflicting punishment once he gets to the ball carrier. The prospect has some work to do from a coverage standpoint, but the athleticism at his disposal suggests strides can be made under Ejiro Evero's guidance.

Analysts expect Eichenberg to be drafted somewhere between Rounds 3-5. Providing other needs are addressed beforehand, the Panthers might have room for this pick when push comes to shove.