The Carolina Panthers made a move last week to pick up former first-round pick Kentwan Balmer off of waivers to help out a beleaguered dline that has thus far failed to provide much– if any– pressure on opposing QBs in the preseason. Balmer was picked 29th overall in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Balmer was average for the Niners before being sidelined with a shoulder injury. Balmer was eventually traded to the Seattle Seahawks, where he was marginally more successful.
Balmer will likely be expected to make his presence felt quickly for the Panthers, as the defensive line has had issues establishing any sort of consistent pressure on QBs this preseason, something that certainly isn’t helping the average-at-best CB corps the Panthers have. Opposing QBs have had way too much time in the pocket to pick apart the Panthers with deep balls without having to worry about much pressure coming from the Panthers. Obviously, if the Panthers are hoping to improve at all over their 2-14 season with average cornerbacks, the dline is going to have to step up, and quickly.
Look for Balmer to push the issue on Thursday versus the Steelers in the final preseason game of the year. Balmer just might be a steal that can help the Panthers on their way to a better season this year. Only time will tell.