Carolina Panthers Players to Watch Leading Up to the Draft

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CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 09: Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers runs a play during the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers have been cleaning house in preparation for a younger, faster team that should make some noise in 2019. Let’s take a look at some Carolina Panthers players to watch leading up to the draft:

Carolina Panthers to Watch Leading Up to the Draft

Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey accounted for 91 percent of Carolina’s offensive snaps in 2018. He willingly carried a heavy load for his team. He posted big numbers both receiving and rushing.

Leading up to the draft, McCaffrey needs to make sure he’s resting up. There’s a chance the Panthers won’t get another rusher in the draft or free agency. Danny Jaillet, a writer of the Panthers Fansided page Cat Crave, discussed the possibility of re-signing Carolina rusher, Cameron Artis-Payne. Artis-Payne didn’t get much playing time in 2018 but can explosive if given the opportunity. He would be a great asset to the roster and take some of the load off of McCaffrey.

Donte Jackson

Donte Jackson came in as an immediate boost to Carolina’s defense. This secondary would never compare to the one Josh Norman was on, but Jackson’s impact is something the Panthers have been searching for since letting Norman go.

Jackson’s off-season should serve the Panthers well, barring he doesn’t get injured. He’s prepping himself to play with a young Panthers’ secondary. Charlotte Observer’s Jourdan Rodrigue says the value of the nickel position is increasing. This allows Jackson to be part of the young secondary that will be a threat for years to come.

Mario Addison

Since joining the Panthers in 2013, Mario Addison has fought to maintain his place on the team. His presence has been undeniable for the last five seasons, but the Panthers may be asking him for more this season.

Leading up to the draft, Addison needs to evaluate whether he’s ready to take on a leadership role. Since Thomas Davis will be moving on to another team, someone needs to step up and be a leader. Addison is the best person for the job. He’s been consistent the last six years; posted at least six sacks since 2014. He appears to be happy with the organization but is set to become a free agent in 2020. There is plenty for him to decide.

Daryl Williams

Daryl Williams is a free agent that Last Word on Pro Football’s Thomas Conroy described as a talented tackle who succeeded with smarts and strength over athleticism. Williams is a good offensive lineman but the Panthers have to figure out if they can take on the financial burden.

He has posed himself as a physical threat against defenses and has been one of the more consistent guys on the line besides former center Ryan Kalil. There are a few teams in pursuit of Williams, including the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants. Can the Panthers do enough to keep him? Or will it be in their best interest to let him go?

Last Word on Panther’s Off-Season

The Panthers will be going through many changes this off-season leading up to the draft. Some of these players will be with the team for the foreseeable future while others play around with the idea of free agency.

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