4 major losers from the Carolina Panthers 2023 NFL Draft
By Dean Jones
Amare Barno - Carolina Panthers DE/OLB
As stated previously, there was a glaring need for the Carolina Panthers to find another productive pass-rusher to put opposite Brian Burns next season. Moving forward with their current options is asking for trouble, but those in power resisted the urge early before trading up in the third round to acquire D.J. Johnson.
Johnson is a little raw after transitioning from the tight-end position in college. However, the Panthers feel like his athleticism and explosiveness could make a big impact if some technical developments occur during the offseason.
What this means for Amare Barno's immediate future is unclear. The pass-rusher flashed from a rotational role in 2022 after the Panthers gave him ample time to develop, so the former sixth-round pick was probably hoping for more reps as a sophomore all things considered.
While Barno could still play a role, the Panthers plan to have Johnson on the field right out of the gate according to general manager Scott Fitterer. This is a trail by fire for the one-time Oregon stud, who must improve gap discipline against the run and enhance his pass-rushing repertoire before assuming starting responsibilities.
Barno's top-end speed and explosiveness off the block are impressive. His size deficiencies shouldn't be much of a factor within Evero's 3-4 base scheme, so all hope is not lost just yet.