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Panthers 2022 season opener countdown: 71 days to go

We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off the 2022 NFL season.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

We’re 71 days away from the Panthers 2022 season opener, so that means today’s countdown piece is devoted to No. 71 on the roster — defensive tackle Phil Hoskins.

Hoskins joined the Panthers as a seventh round draft pick in 2021, where he managed to make the main roster as a depth piece on the defensive line. He played in three games last season, recording 4 tackles and 1 sack in his debut NFL season. Here’s NFL.com’s Chad Reuter’s analysis heading up to the 2021 NFL Draft

Despite just a single season as a starter at Kentucky, Haskins is an interesting study as a prospect whose playing style doesn’t necessarily match his traits. His 83 3/8-inch wingspan (34 3/8-inch arms) will get teams excited and he has good overall size to go with it. However, his playing style leans more to his snap quickness than his length, as he’s much more consistent at searching for gaps than controlling the action with his hands. He’s nimble and very active in both the run game and as a rusher, and his spin-counter is a legitimate weapon in attacking the pocket. If he can get his hands and feet to work in skilled harmony, he might have life as a rotational 3-technique in a one-gapping front.

Overall I would say Hoskins making the team and having meaningful playing time in 2021 was a major win for the Panthers’ scouts, as seventh rounders aren’t often a lock to make the team much less see time in the rotation in any meaningful way the year they are drafted. Hoskins currently sits as the Panthers fifth defensive tackle in the rotation behind starters Derrick Brown and Matt Ioanniddis, and backups Daviyon Nixon and Bravvion Roy. The Panthers look to have some promising depth at this position but it’ll take some coaching and reps to become a solid rotation.

What are your expectations for Hoskins this season? Share below in the comments!