3 Panthers rookies not named Bryce Young who could steal a job in training camp

  • A shot to start up front?
  • A receiver who should get his opportunity
  • A raw quarterback destroyer
Panthers, Jonathan Mingo
Panthers, Jonathan Mingo / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
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3. D.J. Johnson, EDGE

Carolina traded up to draft Oregon pass rusher D.J. Johnson in the third round, and some questioned whether or not it was a worthy move. But, the fact of the matter is, Johnson's ceiling is high. His flashes and athletic traits made him a tantalizing prospect coming out of college.

At the moment, the Panthers have Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos at outside linebacker and Deshawn Williams playing defensive end. Burns is locked and loaded as a starter, so Johnson would have to ultimately supplant either Gross-Matos or Williams.

Williams stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 260 pounds, so he's kind of between a linebacker and defensive end. At this stage, he might fit better taking over Gross-Matos' spot if he earned it. At the same time, if he's asked to step back into coverage, we'll have a problem.

Will he fit better at defensive end or outside linebacker? Training camp will likely answer that question for us. Johnson is extremely raw and a little on the lighter side, but the offseason is where he can work on adding healthy weight and honing in on technique.