DRAFT PREVIEW: Pick 8 – Carolina Panthers

We’re a quarter of the way through our previews and this time we focus on the 2015 Superbowl runners-up, Carolina Panthers.

Pick: 8

2016 Record: 6-10

What went right in 2016? 2016 was a letdown for both sides who appeared in Superbowl 50, as neither made the playoffs. Carolina continued to get solid performances out of players such as tight end Greg Olsen, who remained one of the top players at that position in the NFL, but the general impression was that too many players declined too quickly.

And what went wrong? The failure to shore up the offensive line that was so badly exposed against Denver in Superbowl 50 was a killer for Carolina. The Broncos showed everyone else how to get to Cam Newton and the quarterback was rendered impotent (at least by his high standards), ranking below the likes of Case Keenum and Tyrod Taylor by the end of the season. The defense was badly weakened by free agency departures, including of cornerback Josh Norman, and the replacements simply weren’t up to the job.

What do they need? Tackle, Defensive End, Running Back

Who will they pick? There are a lot of options out there for the Panthers, but this will probably be the spot where they deal with that defensive end position by taking Jonathan Allen from Alabama. Whilst a running back could be an option, the need for another edge rusher is stronger. The offensive line will remain a potential problem, though, given the lack of first round talent at tackle in this Draft.

Richard O’Hagan

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Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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