The Carolina Panthers had a balanced haul in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Three of their six draftees were on offense: tackle Ikem Ekwonu, quarterback Matt Corral, and guard Cade Mays.
Completing the list are linebackers Brandon Smith and Amare Barno, and cornerback Kalon Barnes.
The team hopes that these additions will help sustain their defense that ranked second in total yards allowed per game (305.9).
The Panthers were also fourth-best in passing yards allowed (192.1).
However, they struggled to stop the run, giving up 113.8 yards per game.
It’s that Achilles heel that led them to surrender 23.8 points per game in 2021.
For that reason, the Panthers continue to look for help, especially after one of their top players on defense went elsewhere.
Two-time Pro-Bowl free agent DE Carlos Dunlap is visiting the Panthers today, per source. Dunlap is from North Charleston, SC, and the Panthers are his hometown team. They need a pass rusher to replace Haason Reddick, who went to the Eagles.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 13, 2022
ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted, “Two-time Pro-Bowl free agent DE Carlos Dunlap is visiting the Panthers today, per source. Dunlap is from North Charleston, SC, and the Panthers are his hometown team. They need a pass rusher to replace Haason Reddick, who went to the Eagles.”
Dunlap last played for the Seattle Seahawks and had 8.5 sacks despite starting just two games.
Aside from his ability to rush the quarterback, he is also a durable player after seeing action in all 17 games last season.
From 2014 to 2018, he did not miss a game for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Will Dunlap Agree To Come Home?
Aside from the chance to continue his career, Dunlap will be able to play closer to home, in front of his family and friends.
The Panthers hope that the two-time Pro Bowler will fill the void that Reddick left and that’s a tall order even for a veteran like Dunlap.
In a two-year stretch for the Panthers and Arizona Cardinals, Reddick had 23.5 sacks, 130 tackles, and eight forced fumbles.
Dunlap might have to turn back the hands of time to match that output.