Carolina Panthers 2019 Position Review: Offensive Line

Jason Hewitt

As the NFL off-season continues, it is essential to establish what the Panthers need to improve on in order to experience success in this league (which is something that has been in short supply as of late). In order to do so, let's take a trip back to the 2019 season and focus on one of the most important position groups on the field - the offensive line.

Numbers never lie, and based on the statistics, this offensive line endured a lot of hardship this past season. The first stat to take note of is sacks allowed. The Panthers allowed a total of 58 sacks in 2019. That is an average of a little over 3.5 sacks per game. In addition to this, the team allowed a total of a staggering 102 hits on the quarterback. If the Panthers want to experience a record better than 5-11 this year, addressing this should be one of the first steps to the alleged rebuild that is happening in Charlotte.

Cam Newton's injury had a lot to do with the fact that he wasn't protected like he should have been. Backup quarterback Kyle Allen also experienced injuries throughout the season due to all the hits he took, which makes it seemingly clear that poor pass protection had a lot to do with the lack of points left on the field. 

Despite the negatives, there are a couple of bright spots from the offensive line in 2019, though. For instance, Christian McCaffrey was able to reach over 1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving this year. That is a credit to the offensive line's ability to successfully run block and pass block for McCaffrey to get open on shorter routes. 

Another positive is the Pro Bowl season that Panthers offensive guard Trai Turner experienced. While this team's best offensive lineman is allegedly on the trade market, it may be in Carolina's best interest to keep him around. A lot of McCaffrey's success had to do with Turner's ability to open up running lanes for McCaffrey to be magnificent on the second level of the defense and beyond.

As a whole, this offensive line could have performed much better in 2019. The addition of offensive tackle Greg Little through the draft and center Matt Paradis through free agency last off-season helped the line a bit, but it could use some upgrades. 

Position Unit Grade: C-

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