CHARLOTTE – You don't need a Pro Football Focus subscription to see it, but the analytics-based website confirmed it just the same: Taylor Moton was a breakout performer in 2018.
PFF listed the offensive tackle as one of the NFL's 10 breakout performers this past season, backing the assessment statistically by giving him the 15th best pass-blocking efficiency rating among tackles.
Anecdotally, PFF called Moton "intregal to keeping together an offensive line that very easily could have collapsed" after both the Panthers' projected starters at tackle were on injured reserve before Week 2.
In his second season, the second-round draft choice started the opener in place of Matt Kalil at left tackle and then started the final 15 games at right tackle for Daryl Williams as veterans Chris Clark and Marshall Newhouse held down the left side.
Moton's level of performance and his flexibility gives the Panthers as an organization more flexibility entering a big offseason.
Williams, Clark and Newhouse are on a lengthy list of pending free agents. Williams suffered a right knee injury in the season opener, but with an All-Pro season in 2017 on his résumé, he could look to test the open market in hopes of landing a top-dollar deal. Kalil is coming off a season lost to a right knee injury of his own.