Breaking: Panthers Closing In On Deal To Sign $11.7 Million DB Considered A Great Fit For Many Reasons

Breaking: Panthers Closing In On Deal To Sign $11.7 Million DB Considered A Great Fit For Many Reasons

The Carolina Panthers will turn over a new leaf in 2024, but Ejiro Evero will remain the defensive coordinator, demonstrating his ability as a DC.

The Panthers defense lost Brian Burns, but the new general manager was able to bring in several excellent players, including Jadeveon Clowney, D.J. Wonnum, and Jordan Fuller, among others. Overall, the unit appears to be in decent health as it enters the draft phase.

There is one position, however, that must be addressed: the nickel position.

Fortunately, former Michigan Wolverine Mike Sainristil can help Evero with just that.

Troy Hill, last year’s nickel, remains on the roster, but the defense needs competition at the position, so his presence will not dissuade Morgan and Dave Canales from drafting Sainristil, maybe in the second or third round of the draft, where the Panthers have three picks combined.

Sainristil is little in height but plays a big game, as proven by his six interceptions and two pick-sixes last season. He’s tough, aggressive, and not afraid to contact opponents, whether in the pass or run game. Evero can rush him off the line, and he’s a gifted athlete with quick feet and tight hips to excel at the next level.

He’s also a former wide receiver who has only played defensive back for two seasons. Not only does his experience as a receiver help him anticipate breaks and read routes, but the fact that he’s already performing at this high level after switching positions demonstrates his excellent football IQ.

The Panthers, on the other hand, rely heavily on Evero’s zone approach.The Panthers’ defense is based on Brandon Staley/Vic Fangio’s two-high shells and zone-oriented post-snap rotations.According to Pro Football Focus, no defensive back was in man coverage for more than 19.7% of the time in 2023. When he was the Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator in 2022, the ceiling was 23.9%.

Sainristil excels in zone coverage and should continue to improve his man coverage skills, which will be less important if he plays for the Panthers.

The youngster possesses all of the characteristics of an excellent nickelback in the NFL (think Kenny Moore), and the Panthers have the need, plan, and the resources to make it happen. We’ll see what happens, but don’t be surprised if Sainristil performs in Charlotte in May.

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