4 potential UDFAs the Carolina Panthers could sign after 2023 NFL Draft
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers could sign Dequan Jackson
- Linebacker | Colorado State Rams
Much like the situation at tight end, the Carolina Panthers have something of a conundrum at the linebacker spot heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. Do they move forward with what they have or look for another injection of energy from the latest batch of college recruits?
This is largely dependent on where defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero plans to deploy Frankie Luvu and Jeremy Chinn. The Panthers will likely add a 3-4 outside linebacker pretty early in the process, so it's a case of wait-and-see regarding the interior.
If the Panthers opted to take their chances with those already on the books and perhaps add someone from undrafted free agency, then Dequan Jackson represents a good possibility. The sideline-to-sideline presence was a tackling demon throughout his time at Colorado State and has enough athletic intangibles to potentially carve out an NFL role for himself over time.
Jackson has good instincts and enough knowledge of angles to become an asset on running plays. The prospect also has the burst needed to get into the backfield consistently, although this didn't transition to pass-rushing more often than not.
There are some concerns that Jackson is a bit one-dimensional to become an every-down NFL linebacker. But wherever the player lands, his work ethic and steely determination could lead to a development role while contributing to special teams if everything goes well.