Offensive Line Headlines Offseason Needs For The Carolina Panthers

Panthers HC Matt Rhule. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Panthers HC Matt Rhule. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /
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2022 NFL Draft, Charles Cross
2022 NFL Draft, Charles Cross. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

1. The Offensive Line

Things have to start up front for the Carolina Panthers. The offensive line cannot stay the way it is. Taylor Moton got a hefty contract to be a cornerstone at right tackle, and this season wasn’t the best for him. Matt Paradis could be on the way out, the Pat Elflein experiment isn’t going well, and Cameron Fleming hasn’t been great either, but hopefully Brady Christensen can pan out at one of the guard spots.

With only $20 million in cap space (currently), the Panthers don’t have a ton of room to operate. They could opt for bringing in someone like Terron Armstead, Cam Robinson, or even Ryan Jensen should he be available. That would likely be their big signing of the offseason. Maybe Paradis still is an option going forward.

If they don’t go that route, the 2022 NFL Draft is the move to build the offensive line. Tackle looks good at the top once again, and if the Panthers stay at the sixth selection, they could land one of the top three guys – Evan Neal, Charles Cross, or Ikem Ekwonu. It seems unlikely Neal gets there, but Cross is a phenomenal pass protector while Ekwonu would be dynamite in the run game.

Center is a bit thin this year, and while Tyler Linderbaum is excellent, it’s hard to imagine the Panthers taking him that early. Maybe someone with the movement skills of Dohnovan West will be intriguing to them. Otherwise, they could get a good pass protector in Boston College’s Alec Lindstrom or BYU’s James Empey.