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Carolina fans saw this in 2012 with Luke Kuechly's selection in the first round. The Panthers appeared to be set at linebacker with Jon Beason leading the way, but that did not deter then-Carolina general manager Marty Hurney from taking a big gamble and drafting the tackle machine from Boston College.
Could history repeat itself?
In fact, what if the front office entertained the idea of drafting an outside linebacker? Granted, Thomas Davis has bounced back extremely well from his many knee injuries. He was very effective on the strong side last year. Chase Blackburn and A.J. Klein rotated with each other and both did a solid job at "Will" linebacker.
Would it be so terrible to upgrade the outside of one of the best units in the league?
The immediate benefit is how disruptive the pass rush will become. It already wreaks havoc as it is, but what if Anthony Barr or Ryan Shazier drop in the first round? Imagine how scary the defense would be. Shazier is a more likely candidate to fall, especially if a couple of teams reach for a quarterback early.
On the other side of the ball, tight end is a position that is not a need for Carolina, but that does not rule them out from taking one. The best tight end in this year's draft is North Carolina's Eric Ebron. The most likely player to fall to the Panthers would be Jace Amaro of Texas Tech.
Since head coach Ron Rivera is focusing on replacing catches rather than drafting a number one receiver, adding a tight end would make sense. The field behind incumbent TE Greg Olsen is already crowded, but Amaro could become the second-string to Olsen by default.
This would likely suggest that the Panthers will deploy a lot of big sets on the field and try to replicate the success with two-tight end formations that the New England Patriots had a couple of seasons ago.