53 Men: LB Tahir Whitehead Player Profile
LB Tahir Whitehead
Weight: 241 lbs
NFL stats: 633 tackles, 38 TFL, 12 QB Hits, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 5 interceptions
Depth Chart Projection: Starter
After losing Luke Kuechly to retirement, the Panthers were in desperate need of another starting linebacker to pair with Shaq Thompson. No other linebacker on the roster was ready to assume that role, so they pursued veteran Tahir Whitehead. There's no question that this was an amazingly underrated pickup for a team that felt like it had lost a sense of identity defensively.
Whitehead has played in both a 3-4 scheme and 4-3 defensive alignment, which should make for an easy transition into Phil Snow's multiple look. He can line up both inside and outside at linebacker and will primarily make his impact in shutting down the run game, especially in between the tackles. Whitehead is quick, but he's not going to be the fastest linebacker on the roster. He is going to have to rely a little more on good angles and shooting gaps to help create plays. Coverage is mediocre at best and doesn't really bring a lot to the table in that category, which makes being a dominant run stopper all the more important.
53-Man Roster Status: Lock
Whitehead won't just be here in 2020, but for as long as he remains productive. Entering his ninth year in the league, he becomes one of the oldest players not only on the defense, but on the team in general. Even during a rebuild, you have to have some veterans on the roster to help lead by example.
Previous "53 Men" projections
What type of season do you expect from Tahir Whitehead? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook - @PanthersOnSI