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Carolina Panthers appear focused on defensive prospects early in the scouting process

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The Panthers defensive front seven is getting early attention.

NCAA Football: Alabama at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Every year the Carolina Panthers draft at least one player that they visited with in the lead up to the draft. In 2018 they drafted wide receiver DJ Moore after holding a private work out with him. They later drafted Jermaine Carter, a player they had a meeting with at his Pro Day. In 2019 the Panthers met with both Brian Burns and Greg Little. So it is worth noting who the Panthers who interest in meeting with in whatever fashion.

Let’s start with the East-West Shrine game. Of the ten players listed the Panthers had meetings with six of them are front seven defenders.

Don’t get too excited about these players as they are mostly mid to late round prospects. Yet I bet there could be a decent starter in there. Anyone have any scouting intelligence on these players?

The game more likely to produce a Panthers draft pick is the Senior Bowl. Here’s who the Panthers showed interest in the Senior Bowl.

DT Javon Kinlaw

RB Eno Benjamin

DE Josh Uche

DE Alton Robinson

TE Harrison Bryant

K Rodrigo Blankenship

Again several front seven defenders. The Panthers staff must feel they need to add depth in the front seven and I can agree with that. It also makes sense the Panthers are looking for a tight end to replace Greg Olsen or maybe depth behind Ian Thomas. Thomas will get a shot to be the top tight end in Carolina but he is no sure thing.

Kinlaw might be an option in the first round at number seven overall. Seems a little high for his estimated draft value at this point until you look at his tape. He is constantly beating double teams to collapse the pocket and swallow up a nearby ball carrier.

Kinlaw is a beast. He looks like a two gaps defensive tackle in the 4-3 alignment in my view. I doubt he will slide all the way to the second round so I think the meeting could be just kicking the tires on all prospects with a top ten grade. Yet if the Panthers plan to let Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy walk in free agency then a defensive tackle in the first round almost becomes imperative. A tackle like Kinlaw that can eat up double teams allows Kawann Short to match up one on one. That was sorely missed in the last half of the 2019 season.