Eli Apple
Eli Apple is happy for a fresh start with the Carolina. After ranking last in defense a year ago, can Apple help turn around the Panthers defense? (Brandon Todd/Panthers)

Eli Apple was taken with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Giants. Five years and three teams later, Apple has been nothing short of a disaster. Apple improved a little during his time with the Saints. Still, there’s a reason why the Giants traded him for 4th and 7th round pick.

Now in Carolina, Apple is happy for a new start. He feels like he can rejuvenate his career with the Panthers:

“I feel like I’ve seen so much, and I’ve been through a lot — more than the normal guy would,” Apple said, via Myles Simmons of the team’s official website. “I’ve been traded, I’ve been on teams that were really good and teams that were really bad, so I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen every side of, I feel like, the league.

“So I feel like there’s a lot of experience with that and now it’s just about going about my business and doing it at a high level.”

Carolina lost James Bradberry via free agency so the Eli Apple addition is a big one for this team. Apple is slated to start opposite of Donte Jackson and there’s little depth behind him. Rookie third rounder Troy Pride and Corn Elder are the only notable names on the depth chart.

This Panthers defense was terrible in 2019. They ranked last in pretty much everything. After Luke Keuchly retired, there’s no reason to think this defense can get any better. The Panthers did use every single one of their draft picks the defensive side of the ball. Apple is one player that needs to play well or this secondary will get torched again.