4 underrated signings who should help Carolina Panthers thrive in 2024

D.J. Wonnum
D.J. Wonnum / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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D.J. Wonnum - Carolina Panthers OLB

Big changes have arrived to the Carolina Panthers edge rushing options this offseason. Losing Yetur Gross-Matos in free agency became a possibility after his career-best year under Ejiro Evero in 2023. Trading Brian Burns to the New York Giants was a risk those in power felt they had no other choice but to make.

Jadeveon Clowney's high-profile arrival provides a veteran presence capable of manning one side of Evero's dynamic 3-4 base scheme effectively. The Panthers also secured the services of D.J. Wonnum, who brings a significant amount of intrigue after opting to depart the Minnesota Vikings.

Wonnum is coming off a torn quad and might not be ready until training camp, which could damage his transition to a different setup. However, his explosiveness coming off the edge coupled with some decent production over the last three seasons are reasons for encouragement.

The former South Carolina college star is coming off an eight-sack campaign in 2023. While playing opposite Danielle Hunter helped his cause, there's nothing to suggest he cannot build on this positive momentum with the Panthers. If everything goes according to plan and there are no more complications on the health front, starting alongside Clowney is a realistic objective in Week 1.

Expect the Panthers to bring in another explosive pass-rusher at some stage during the draft to bolster depth and secure a long-term option. But for now, Wonnum boasts the physical tools to make a surprising contribution.