After a tough-to-watch season in 2018, the Carolina Panthers have made some impressive offseason moves.
These moves are largely due to owner David Tepper -- who won't settle for mediocrity. Carolina upgraded their defensive front with the additions of Gerald McCoy, Bruce Irvin, Brian Burns and Christian Miller. They added some much-needed depth to the offensive line with Matt Paradis and Greg Little.
Most importantly, they allowed Cam Newton to rest his shoulder after his second surgery -- and he's on pace to make a full recovery before the season begins. The one problematic area last season that wasn't addressed over the offseason is the secondary.
Carolina will feature Donte Jackson and James Bradberry at the cornerback position -- while starting Eric Reid and Rashaan Gaulden at safety. This is the same core that allowed 240.4 passing yards per game last season. The Panthers are hoping that Jackson continues to ascend in his second season, while Reid finds himself comfortable with the defense.
Because of the lack of attention in the secondary, Pro Football Focus graded them as the 27th best group heading into 2019.
Here's what PFF had to say:
Yet another team who is relying on youngsters taking a big step forward. Last year’s second-rounder Donte Jackson is their best bet on that front. He finished the season like gangbusters, allowing only 18 yards over his final three games.
Gaulden is likely the best option for the free safety position -- but he's also looking like the front runner at nickel. He can't do both, so the Panthers will look to guys like Corn Elder and Ross Cockrell to step up.
Fortunately, the secondary will have a lot more help from their defensive line this season -- which could make all the difference