The loss of Luke Kuechly stunned not only Panthers’ fans, but the entire NFL. It left a huge hole in the middle of the defense, one that Shaq Thompson hopes to fill. The addition of Tahir Whitehead gives the linebacker room some much needed athleticism and productivity, but Carolina will likely look into bringing another guy into the fold. Whether or not it’s in the first round, remains to be seen.
Simmons does everything. He has played linebacker, safety, nickel, edge rusher and a little corner in his time at Clemson. Simmons projects as an outside linebacker at the next level, so he’d likely take Shaq Thompson’s old spot. He’s the epitome of a position-less player and has an amazing overall athletic profile, which are two things that Matt Rhule looks for in players. There isn’t a more versatile player in this year’s draft.
Depending on what players are there at seven, teams could look to trade up….and Carolina is a team that could use more picks.
With the retirement of Luke Kuechly, Carolina could use another linebacker to pair with Shaq Thompson and Tahir Whitehead. Murray could potentially be that guy if Carolina decides to trade back. Murray is a high motor player who flies around the field. He’s a powerful hitter and mobile enough to drop into coverage. Would be a solid pick in the mid-teens for Carolina.
Like Murray, Queen would be a welcomed player for the Panthers’ defense. Queen processes things quick. He’s got good sideline-to-sideline speed and is a hard hitter. Queen possesses the athletic profile that is coveted by Coach Matt Rhule. He has a high football IQ and projects as a WILL linebacker in the NFL.