Going into the NFL Draft, everyone knew that the Carolina Panthers had many holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball. At every position, Carolina was in need of either a new starter or depth in order to achieve their goal of fielding a top defense in the league. Well, now that the NFL Draft is over, the Panthers took a few strong steps in the right direction of fulfilling their goal. With all seven picks, Carolina drafted a defensive player. Let's take a look at who was drafted and how they will impact the depth of this Panther defensive unit.
On Thursday night, the Panthers selected Derrick Brown, defensive tackle from Auburn. Brown is the best defensive tackle in this years draft and Coach Rhule believes that he is the type of guy who you can build a team around. Carolina was in desperate need of adding a big body in the interior of the defensive line. Brown brings size and skill to help shut down opposing running attacks and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
On Friday night, the Panthers drafted both Yetur Gross-Matos and Jeremy Chinn in the second round and filled two more holes. Gross-Matos out of Penn State will bring speed and strength on the edge. Chinn comes by way of Southern Illinois and is a stellar safety with a high football IQ.
On Saturday afternoon, the Panthers concluded their NFL Draft by adding Troy Pride Jr. (Notre Dame) in the fourth round, Kenny Robinson (West Virginia AND the XFL) in the fifth round, Bravvion Roy (Baylor) in the sixth round, and Stanley Thomas-Oliver (Florida International) in the seventh round. Pride Jr. brings speed to a secondary that was in dire need of a face-lift. Kenny Robinson had the most interesting story in the draft this year as he became the first player to ever get drafted after playing in the XFL. Robinson also brings toughness to the secondary. Bravvion Roy was one of Coach Rhule's guys at Baylor so it was no surprise he drafted him knowing his talent will bring help to the defense. Drafting Thomas-Oliver was needed as well in order to continue to help rebuild the secondary.
The Panthers now have depth at all positions on the defense.
EDGE: Burns, Gross-Matos, Weatherly, Haynes, Obada, Miller
Defensive Line: Short, Brown, Kerr, Roy
Safety: Boston, Burris, Chinn, Robinson, Green
Cornerback: Jackson, Pride, Elder, Thomas-Oliver
The Panthers now have quality starters at every position and strong depth to help with different schemes under new defensive coordinator, Phil Snow.
How do you feel about the Carolina defense now after the draft? Did they fill all of their needs on defense? Should the Panthers have spent at least one draft pick on offense? Please let us know in the comment section below and feel free to interact with us on social media.
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