4 new NFC South players the Carolina Panthers should worry about in 2024

The Carolina Panthers will have to worry about a few new additions to NFC South teams for 2024.
Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers should worry about Chase Young

Chase Young was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, it has not quite panned out that way.

He's still a plus player along the defensive line and was a new addition by the New Orleans Saints this offseason. Given his usable production and already having played for what will be his third team, Young feels like this generation's Jadaveon Clowney.

Young amassed 7.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, and 15 quarterback hits between the Washington Commanders and San Francisco 49ers last season. The former Ohio State star's production isn't eye-popping by any means, but he's proven to be a capable player who can disrupt the passer.

With the Carolina Panthers offensive line still being unproven, Young could be a thorn in the sides of Bryce Young and the offense. He's not going to be a game-wrecker, but this is the type of savvy, modest addition that helps teams.

Carolina Panthers should worry about Kool-Aid McKinstry

A 2024 NFL Draft pick by the New Orleans Saints, Kool-Aid McKinstry comes into what was already a very strong secondary in New Orleans. He was projected to be a first-round caliber player who ended up falling. He had 23 passes defended across his career at Alabama, so he's got a knack for the ball.

Here is his draft profile from Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

"Three-year starter and former five-star prospect with a quirky name and consistent game. McKinstry is patient and well-groomed in matching the outside release and riding the inside release from press. He’s confident to handle business on an island and is able to stay in phase as the route travels vertically. He’s not overly fast but does play with plus acceleration to close out crossing routes or make aggressive plays on the catch point. As with most college corners, McKinstry will need to transition some of his open-field hand usage into quality footwork to avoid downfield penalties. He’s more aggressive in coverage than he is as a tackler and could find himself forced to prove his toughness in that area. McKinstry is more of a pure cover man than a playmaker, but his poise, intelligence and athleticism should lead him toward becoming a good outside corner with scheme versatility."

Lance ZIerlein, NFL.com

It's hard to envision McKinstry not playing a big role in the secondary immediately. He's a very sound player, so the Carolina Panthers will again have to keep tabs on another talented defensive back residing in the NFC South.

That's without mentioning other stud defensive backs like Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adebo, and A.J. Terrell. This is set to be a massive year for Bryce Young and his development. He'll surely have a tough test with a slew of talented looking to throw a wrench into his plans.