Panthers News: Bryce Young, D.J. Johnson, Thomas Brown and Brian Burns

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

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers OLB D.J. Johnson's progress

Considering the Carolina Panthers traded up to land D.J. Johnson in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, seeing him as a healthy scratch to begin the campaign is disappointing. The edge presence is clearly seen as a development project by the coaching staff, which is fine until one takes into account that the player will be 25 years old next month.

Johnson was seen by most analysts as a reach when the Panthers made their move. What's transpiring so far has done little to change the narrative surrounding the former six-year college player.

When discussing Johnson's lack of involvement, defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero highlighted the depth across Carolina's edge rushers as the primary factor behind the team's thought process based on comments via Sports Illustrated.

"We've been really blessed. We have a lot of good players at that position. Justin [Houston], Brian [Burns], Yetur [Gross-Matos] has been playing really well, [Amare] Barno. He's doing a great job. I would just say that. I like where he is. I like the progress he's making. It's just a matter of him finding those opportunities. There's always fluctuations and it's week by week, so we'll see what happens."

Ejiro Evero via Sports Illustrated

The best way for Johnson to learn is by getting game-day reps, even if it's on special teams initially. The Panthers didn't have much draft capital to utilize in 2023, so it'll be a blow if this trend continues and he fails to make a lasting contribution down the line.