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Panthers Add Under-The-Radar Depth To Trenches

Posted Mar 16, 2016

In defensive tackle Paul Soliai and center Gino Gradkowski, the Panthers have added two players who graded well according to Pro Football Focus last season.

The Carolina Panthers believe they’ve landed a pair of under-the-radar gems at the line of scrimmage with their free agent moves to date.

They're not alone in that thinking.

Pro Football Focus ranks both defensive tackle Paul Soliai and center Gino Gradkowski among the top third at their positions among free agents based on the site’s 2015 grades.

Soliai, signed by the Panthers on Tuesday, actually ranks in the top fourth, coming in at 17th among 64 interior defensive linemen with a grade of 74.5. For reference, that’s better than the two tackles who backed up Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei last season – Kyle Love (63.0) and Dwan Edwards (53.6).

Gradkowski, signed by the Panthers last week, ranks sixth among 18 centers in the free agent group with a grade of 69.2 in limited action last season. Last year’s backup center, Fernando Velasco, was slightly higher on the list with a 70.9, but Gradkowski is four years younger.