Weakest link: Carolina Panthers

May, 14, 2013
5/14/13
1:21
PM ET
We continue our NFC South look at each team’s weakest link with the Carolina Panthers and their defensive secondary.

When I look at Carolina’s defensive front seven on paper, I think it might be the best in the NFC South. That better hold true and the pass rush better be phenomenal because I don’t see a whole lot of talent in the secondary.

The Panthers did make some moves in free agency by adding safety Mike Mitchell and cornerbacks Drayton Florence and D.J. Moore. The Panthers are hoping Mitchell can beat out Haruki Nakamura for the starting spot opposite Charles Godfrey.

If that happens, the Panthers likely will be slightly better off than they were at safety last season. But the cornerback situation remains very muddled.

Florence and Moore can be decent as No. 2 or 3 cornerbacks. The same can be said for Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Norman, Josh Thomas and James Dockery. But there is no clear-cut No. 1 cornerback on this roster.

Where do you find a No. 1 cornerback this time of year? There aren’t any sitting out there. I know there are some Carolina fans yelling for the Panthers to sign veteran Charles Woodson, but I'm not sure he'd solve all that much at this point in his career.

The way I see this playing out is that the Panthers will go to training camp and throw all those cornerbacks out there. They’ll hope the competition prompts some of the cornerbacks to step up. Maybe several of the corners step up.

But I still see this as an area where the Panthers have taken a big risk by not doing anything more dramatic. If you want to compete against the NFC South’s prolific passing games, I think you need more talent in the secondary than the Panthers have.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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