There's a lot to be optimistic about in Carolina. But the Panthers' run defense isn't one of them. Last season, the team finished as the league's worst run defense, according to Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics, and Carolina allowed a league-high 5.2 yards per carry.
While there are plenty of options the team could target in the 2020 NFL Draft to upgrade that unit, the Panthers could be in need of a more serious overhaul. With that in mind, here are three linebackers Carolina could target in free agency.
1. Alec Ogletree
Alec Ogletree wasn't particularly effective last season, receiving a 54.2 grade from Pro Football Focus. He's still a really athletic player, though, and perhaps a change of scenery could help revitalize his career. Even if he can't do much to help the run defense, he's been a been a solid pass rusher lately, receiving grades of 82.7, 68.4 and 76.4 over the past three seasons.
2. Nigel Bradham
Nigel Bradham was a liability as a run defender last season, receiving a 46.5 grade from PFF. He was fantastic in coverage, though, with a 75.0 grade and he could make an impact as a rotational LB, particularly in passing situations.
3. Wesley Woodyard
Wesley Woodyard was essentially the opposite of Bradham last season. Woodyard was horrendous in coverage (45.4 grade) but he was a fantastic run defender (72.4 grade). Entering his age-34 season, he's no longer a three-down linebacker, but he could contribute in running situations. Given how poor Carolina's run defense was and how cheap Woodyard's contract will likely be, he'd be a great addition to the Panthers' LB corps.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.