Panthers news: Bryce Young, DeShaun Foster, D.J. Johnson and free agency

Examining the latest Carolina Panthers news and rumors from around the media.

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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D.J. Johnson's struggles

The Carolina Panthers raised a few eyebrows when they traded up to land D.J. Johnson in the third round last year. This came after edge rushers began flying off their board. Many thought it was a panic move to ensure they left with something rather than taking the best prospect available.

Johnson found life difficult as a rookie. There were flashes against the run, but his pass-rushing left a lot to be desired. With a new regime coming into the fold, he needs to make significant strides heading into Year 2 of his professional career.

Having defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero back should assist Johnson. Austin Amandolia from Last Word on Sports also held out hope that the former Oregon standout might not be the lost cause most project with another offseason to refine his craft.

"Overall, [D.J.] Johnson was more impactful in the run game. He could benefit from more creative approaches when rushing the passer, enabling him to get around opposing linemen. Because of his run game success, he should continue to receive snaps on early downs, enabling him to continue developing as a pass rusher in year two."

Austin Amandolia, LWOS

Johnson's lack of productivity became an easy target for fans amid such a disastrous campaign. While it's unfair to judge the player on one season, the pressure is on to become more influential during his sophomore season.