Luke Kuechly, Kawann Short, Dontari Poe, Thomas Davis, Julius Peppers -- the Panthers have some serious talent in their defensive front seven. Kuechly is still an elite linebacker, the tandem of Short and Poe might be darn-near immovable, and Davis and Peppers continue to defy age. Carolina had 50 sacks last season, the third-highest total in the league, with Peppers and Mario Addison notching 11 each. The Panthers ranked seventh in total defense, third against the run, 11th in scoring defense and 10th in fantasy scoring.
This is an ancient unit. Davis is 35. S Mike Adams is 37. Peppers, Addison, CB Captain Munnerlyn and S Colin Jones are all in their 30s. The health of Kuechly, who’s endured multiple concussions, remains a concern. The secondary is a problem area, particularly at cornerback. The Panthers ranked in the bottom 10 in yards per pass and opponent passer rating last season.
There’s a lot of name-brand talent on the Carolina defense, but this unit is so old that it’s bordering on geriatric. The defensive front seven could be terrific, but the secondary could be a train wreck. There’s a wide range of outcomes here from a fantasy perspective.