Grading the 2020 Carolina Panthers Tight Ends

It was quite a disappointing year for the Panthers’ tight ends.
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Today, we continue our 2020 end of season grades with the Panthers’ tight end group. 

My overall grade for the TEs: D

The one thing that really seemed to be missing from the Carolina Panthers’ offense this year was a reliable tight end. Guys like Mike Davis and Rodney Smith stepped up at running back, Trent Scott and Michael Schofield III stepped up on the offensive line but no one stepped up at tight end. 

Replacing Greg Olsen is not easy by any means nor did anyone expect Ian Thomas or Chris Manhertz to have similar success just one year after Olsen’s departure. With that said, it could have been a lot better. There were weeks where the position as a whole was entirely nonexistent in the passing game. By not having a big tight end catching passes in the middle of the field or as a check-down option, really held this offense back. Yes, Teddy Bridgewater needed to play better but we’re not going into the QB controversy today. The fact is, Bridgewater and the Panthers’ offense needed more out of that tight end room. 

If I’m new GM Scott Fitterer, I’m making sure that tight end is an area that gets upgraded. No disrespect to Chris Manhertz, but he is a blocking tight end and that’s okay, you need those guys. Ian Thomas has never been a high-volume receiver even going back to his days at Indiana. Drafting a receiving tight end is certainly an option, but I think signing a vet might be the way to go.

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