A respected draft analyst recently named the perfect fit for the Carolina Panthers among those eligible for the 2023 Senior Bowl.
Even though there are still a few games left for the Carolina Panthers in 2022, many fans are already casting their eyes on another immensely important off-season period for the franchise. The appointment of a new head coach is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, with the need to finally solve a long-standing problem at the quarterback position, something else that adds another fascinating dimension to the team’s thought process.
With financial flexibility limited for the Panthers unless further sacrifices are made, then addressing key needs via the 2023 NFL Draft seems like the most viable solution for long-term progress. This was also recognized by general manager Scott Fitterer, who opted to trade away Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson before the deadline for a bounty of selections next year and in 2024.
This opens up alternative possibilities for the Panthers. But there are multiple positional groups in desperate need of assistance, so picking the right prospects is absolutely essential now that previous head coach Matt Rhule is no longer overseeing matters.
Carolina Panthers are the best fit for Clemson DT Tyler Davis
A recent feature from Chad Reuter of NFL.com featured the best fits for the top 25 players eligible for the 2023 Senior Bowl next year. This is always one of the most important dates during the pre-draft assessment process, with two teams also having the benefit of coaching the incoming college recruits throughout the week.
Reuter’s choice for Carolina’s best fit would also end a long streak if it came to fruition. But the the writer made some good points about why the Panthers should take a keen interest in Clemson’s dominant defensive tackle Tyler Davis in the coming months.
Pairing 2020 first-round pick Derrick Brown with Davis would help the Panthers take a leap on defense. The Clemson DT makes impacts in the run game by winning gaps with quickness and chasing down ball-carriers. Quarterbacks don’t get a break when they drop back, either, as Davis can beat guards with various pass-rush moves. Considering that Carolina does not produce many sacks inside and struggles against the run, I think Davis would be an excellent fit early in the second round.
Davis is a physically imposing interior defensive lineman that could be a need for the Panthers if they decide not to extend Matt Ioannidis. Finding a long-term partner for Derrick Brown has been difficult since Carolina selected him at No. 7 overall in 2020, so getting some continuity in this key area of the field is of paramount importance moving forward.
The Tigers’ defensive front seven is loaded with NFL-caliber talent and Davis fits the mold of what pro teams want in stout run defenders. He is incredibly difficult to shift off the block and boasts violent hands that can dismiss offensive linemen with ease when in the mood.
There’s also been encouraging signs when Davis is called into pass-rushing duties. His burst is impressive for a big man, but the Panthers and others around the league will need to decipher whether or not he’s best suited for a two-down role when it’s all said and done.
Davis is a solid prospect with enough athletic traits to mold into a productive NFL player. Much will also depend on where the Panthers value him on their draft board, with the lineman projected to be taken anywhere on Day 2 according to most analysts.
Carolina has a wealth of capital in this region thanks to the McCaffrey trade. And the streak of not selecting any Clemson player in franchise history has to end at some point, right?