2020 NFL Draft Team Needs: Carolina Panthers (5-11)

By Dakota Follett (@dakfollett) | Published April 9, 2020

The new regime in Carolina has the fanbase rejuvenated, as head coach Matt Rhule is one of the smartest, up and coming football minds in the game. He brought over defensive coordinator Phil Snow from his days at Baylor/Temple and hired Joe Brady (LSU) to be the offensive coordinator, who’ll be re-united with big ticket free agent signing Teddy Bridgewater. Be sure to download your copy of the 2020 NFL Draft Bible, featuring 600+ scouting reports.

*Italics indicate offseason addition.

QUARTERBACK: Teddy Bridgewater/PJ Walker/Will Grier

Money Invested: $15.566M | Percentage of Cap: 7.9% | Need Level: LOW

Overview: Teddy Bridgewater was brought in to take over for Cam Newton as the Panthers’ franchise quarterback of the future. PJ Walker was also added from the XFL to back him up.

RUNNING BACK: Christian McCaffrey | Depth: Reggie Bonnafon/Jordan Scarlett/Mike Davis/Marcus Murphy

Money Invested: $10.744M | Percentage of Cap: 5.4% | Need Level: MEDIUM

Overview: Christian McCaffrey is the Panthers’ workhorse back but the quality of depth behind him is unimpressive.

FULLBACK: Alex Armah

Money Invested: $0.825M | Percentage of Cap: 0.4% | Need Level: LOW

WIDE RECEIVER: DJ Moore/Robby Anderson/Curtis Samuel | Depth: Seth Roberts/Pharoh Cooper/Brandon Zylstra/Keith Kirkwood/Damion Jeanpiere/Ishmael Hyman/DeAndrew White

Money Invested: $21.662M | Percentage of Cap: 10.9% | Need Level: LOW

Overview: I really like what the Panthers have done at receiver this offseason. Robby Anderson gives them a deep threat to compliment DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel, and valuable depth was added with Seth Roberts and Pharoh Cooper.

TIGHT END: Ian Thomas/Seth DeValve | Depth: Chris Manhertz/Temarrick Hemingway

Money Invested: $3.874M | Percentage of Cap: 2% | Need Level: HIGH

Overview: It still has yet to be seen if Ian Thomas can step into a full-time starting role but he did play well in the absence of Greg Olsen last season.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE: Russell Okung/Taylor Moton | Depth: Greg Little/Tyler Marz/Matt Kaskey/Aaron Monteiro

Money Invested: $18.060M | Percentage of Cap: 9.1% | Need Level: LOW

Overview: The Panthers swapped out Trai Turner at right guard for Russell Okung at left tackle in a trade with the Chargers, which was an excellent deal based on need.

OFFENSIVE GUARD: Tyler Larsen/John Miller | Depth: Dennis Daley

Money Invested: $6.794M | Percentage of Cap: 3.4% | Need Level: HIGH

Overview: With the trade of Trai Turner, Carolina lost a key cog at right guard. They will most certainly try to add a youngster through the draft to come in and compete.

CENTER: Matt Paradis | Depth: Chris Reed

Money Invested: $10.225M | Percentage of Cap: 5.2% | Need Level: LOW

Overview: Matt Paradis was brought over in free agency last year and played well for the Panthers.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Efe Obada/Woodrow Hamilton/Kawann Short | Depth: Zach Kerr

Money Invested: $22.332M | Percentage of Cap: 11.3% | Need Level: URGENT

Overview: Dontari Poe’s departure leaves a gaping hole on this defensive front that will need to be addressed.

EDGE RUSHER: Brian Burns/Stephen Weatherly | Depth: Marquis Haynes/Sione Teuhema/Chris Smith/Christian Miller

Money Invested: $10.799M | Percentage of Cap: 5.4% | Need Level: HIGH

Overview: Brian Burns showed some flashes last season of being a difference maker off the edge and Stephen Weatherly was signed to replace Mario Addison. There is not much depth behind these two however.

LINEBACKER: Shaq Thompson/Tahir Whitehead | Depth: Andre Smith/Jermaine Carter/Jordan Kunaszyk

Money Invested: $11.968M | Percentage of Cap: 6% | Need Level: MEDIUM/HIGH

Overview: Tahir Whitehead was signed to help with the retirement of Luke Kuechly but if dynamic athlete Isaiah Simmons slides to pick No.7, that would make a ton of sense.

CORNERBACK: Donte Jackson/Dominique Hatfield/Corn Elder | Depth: Cole Luke

Money Invested: $3.488M | Percentage of Cap: 1.8% | Need Level: URGENT

Overview: Donte Jackson broke out in a big way last season but the Panthers need to find someone to replace the departured James Bradberry on the opposite side.

SAFETY: Tre Boston/TJ Green | Depth: Juston Burris/Natrell Jamerson/Quin Blanding

Money Invested: $9.270M | Percentage of Cap: 4.7% | Need Level: HIGH

Overview: Tre Boston was resigned so that somebody could lead this secondary unit. The signing of Juston Burris is interesting as well but there’s a lot of uncertainty with this group.

KICKER: Graham Gano/Joey Slye/Elliott Fry | Money Invested: $5.629M | Percentage of Cap: 2.8% | Need Level: NONE

PUNTER: Michael Palardy | Money Invested: $2.600M | Percentage of Cap: 1.3% | Need Level: LOW

LONG SNAPPER: JJ Jansen | Money Invested: $1.190M | Percentage of Cap: 0.6% | Need Level: LOW

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