The Carolina Panthers are a football team that’s working really hard to get better, but they’re telling their fans that it’s going to take some time. This year, during an event called the NFL Draft, the Panthers chose a player to help protect the quarterback and keep him safe so he can throw the ball. They picked a player who grew up in their own city, Charlotte, North Carolina. His name is Ikem Ekwonu, and he’s really good at playing a position called left tackle. He used to play for a college team called the North Carolina State Wolfpack, and before that, he played football in high school.

Left tackles are super important because they stop the other team’s fastest players from tackling the quarterback. Even though Ikem is new, he’s expected to be really good, just like some other players the Panthers picked a long time ago. One of them, Jordan Gross, helped the team almost win a championship called the Super Bowl.

Last season, the Panthers didn’t win a lot. They only won 5 games and lost 12. They were trying to figure out who should throw the ball for the team. Sam Darnold was the main player throwing the ball, but he didn’t do as well as they hoped. The Panthers thought about getting another guy, Baker Mayfield, to throw the ball, but that didn’t happen.

Now, Panthers fans really like Ikem because he’s from their city. But there’s another new player everyone will watch closely. His name is Matt Corral, and he’s also someone who throws the ball, called a quarterback. He used to play for a college called Ole Miss. The Panthers really wanted him, so they traded some chances to pick other players later to get him now.

The Panthers also picked other players to help the team:

  • – Brandon Smith, a really strong and fast player from Penn State who will try to stop the other team from moving the ball.
  • – Amare Barno, a player from Virginia Tech who’s good at stopping the other team from scoring.
  • – Cade Mays, an offensive line player like Ikem, but from Tennessee, who will also help protect the quarterback.
  • – Kalon Barnes, who’s really fast and will try to stop the other team’s players from catching the ball. He’s from Baylor.

People who guess how teams will do in the future don’t think the Panthers will win the Super Bowl right away. But the Panthers have big plans. If Sam Darnold doesn’t play better, Matt Corral might get a chance to show what he can do. He’ll have Ikem to help keep him safe. In North Carolina, you can bet on sports like football using North Carolina sports betting apps, but only at two places called casinos. People hope that maybe they can also bet using their phones soon with North Carolina sportsbook promo codes from sites like ESPN Bet North Carolina.

The Panthers have a big job ahead of them. They need to get better to make their fans happy. For now, they have some new players who will help them get there. Everyone’s waiting to see how these new players will do and if they’ll help the Panthers win more games in the future.

✅ Fact Checked on January 16, 2024 by Ken Weaver