The days of worrying about the defense are over for the Carolina Panthers. That’s not because of their recent signing of ex Atlanta Falcon Thomas DeCoud (who is by no means an end all), but because of the looming NFL Draft. It is no secret that the Panthers have two things to handle in the first rounds of the draft: Get an offensive lineman who is up to replacing Jordan Gross and find a wide receiver who can bring the deep threat potential of Steve Smith while also complementing their free agency acquisitions. It is a tall order and by no means an easy fix.
As such, after the stellar re-signing of Greg Hardy this offseason, the defense understandably sat on the back burner while the Panthers tried to bring in any talent they could. As it stands, the Panthers still have a very powerful defense, and while they did lose some good players, their front seven is as strong as ever. However, they do need some help in the secondary, and DeCoud will provide that help right before the Panthers shift their focus back to the offensive side of the ball.
DeCoud is coming off of a rather lackluster year, especially by his standards, where he recorded no interceptions and only 44 tackles. However, he still managed to play in 15 of the 16 games and has shown in the past that he has the potential to be a playmaker. The Panthers do not need a playmaker, though; they just need a veteran player who can help cement the secondary while management rebuilds the offense. And that’s exactly what DeCoud can do. Yes, he is not the most explosive player or exciting signing, but DeCoud represents an element of stability for the secondary and should be a welcome addition to the Panthers team.