Carolina Panthers' biggest remaining roster need is blatantly obvious

The Carolina Panthers need to rectify this problem quickly.
Dan Morgan and Dave Canales
Dan Morgan and Dave Canales / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Morgan and Dave Canales have implemented significant changes across the Carolina Panthers this offseason. The roster looks almost unrecognizable from the one that achieved two wins during the 2023 campaign, which isn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.

Morgan admitted that he won't be able to solve every complicated roster riddle in one offseason. The Panthers were up against it with finances at a premium and without the No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. Looking at how bleak things appeared before the recruitment period, the new regime deserves praise for the way they've gone about their business.

ESPN highlights Carolina Panthers biggest roster need

The Panthers still have holes to fill, there's no getting away from that. When examining the biggest remaining needs for every NFL team before the 2024 campaign, Aaron Schatz from ESPN highlighted Carolina's lack of legitimate cornerback options as something that could potentially hold the team back unless something is done beforehand.

"The top three Carolina cornerbacks look set, but that assumes Jaycee Horn can stay healthy. He has played only 22 games over three NFL seasons. There's very little depth behind Horn, Dane Jackson and Troy Hill. The fourth corner is fifth-round rookie Chau Smith-Wade: His Scouts Inc. scouting report notes that he's strong in zone coverage but is a smaller cornerback (5-foot-10, 184 pounds) and "not a ball hawk or playmaker." Dicaprio Bootle spent the first part of last year on the practice squad and the last part on injured reserve (knee). In between, he allowed a poor 22.1% DVOA in coverage. D'Shawn Jamison, a 2023 undrafted free agent, played more than 10 defensive snaps only in Weeks 4 and 5."

This won't come as a shock to anyone who follows the Panthers closely. It's been an overlooked need for years and the potential problems are blatantly obvious - especially if former first-round pick Jaycee Horn suffers more bad luck on the health front.

Morgan highlighted his confidence in the unit recently as he distanced himself from speculation surrounding Stephon Gilmore's return. That said, he's also stated a willingness to be aggressive via the waiver wire when the right opportunities come along.

Carolina sits at No. 1 on the waiver priority list this offseason after their embarrassing 2023 efforts. Good players will be released between now and when Week 1 rolls around. This represents a good opportunity for Morgan to plug some gaps and perhaps get a valuable contributor or two that didn't quite fit in elsewhere.

Regardless of which way Morgan approaches this issue, something has to be done. Ejiro Evero's defense lost some key figures this offseason as the Panthers transitioned their hefty investment to help quarterback Bryce Young. This won't go unnoticed by others around the league, so the last thing they need is the secondary giving up chunk plays and becoming a weak link.

Money is tight, which is one of the reasons why their interest in Gilmore has reportedly cooled. However, someone with Brandt Tilis' experience should be able to set some cash aside if - or when - a productive cornerback becomes available.

Anything less is organizational malpractice looking at the options available currently.