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Year two in the Matt Rhule era is just a few months away from getting underway. The Panthers made a lot of improvements on the roster on both sides of the ball. They added depth and also added a few quality starters as well.
Today, we look at who could make the 53-man cut.
QB (3): Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, Will Grier
QB Analysis: Darnold is the only guarantee here and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Panthers only keep two QBs on the roster. If that happens, I’d lean towards Walker winning the backup job.
RB (4): Christian McCaffrey, Chuba Hubbard, Rodney Smith, Trenton Cannon
RB Analysis: The Panthers have RB1 & RB2 figured out but will have a big battle going on for the two other spots. Reggie Bonnafon, Darius Clark, and Spencer Brown will also be in the mix.
WR (6): DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, David Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr., Brandon Zylstra, Shi Smith
WR Analysis: I wanted to put Omar Bayless on here but I just couldn’t find the room for him. Both he and Micah Simon are very talented players that are good enough to make the cut but will likely end up on the practice squad. At some point, Zylstra may be moved down to the practice squad Youth Darius Clark Jersey, which will open up the door for Bayless and Simon.
TE (3): Dan Arnold, Ian Thomas, Tommy Tremble
TE Analysis: Carolina could keep four tight ends with Colin Thompson or add a fullback to the mix but the rookie Tremble is so versatile that the use of a fullback is not necessary.
OT (4): Taylor Moton, Cameron Erving, Brady Christensen, Trent Scott
OG (5): Pat Elflein, John Miller, David Moore, Deonte Brown, Dennis Daley
OC (1): Matt Paradis
OL Analysis: GM Scott Fitterer did a really good job this offseason of rebuilding the offensive line and adding depth at both tackle and guard. The training camp battles will be fierce and I’ll be keeping my eye out for UDFA David Moore.
Total offensive players: 26
Total locks: 17
DE (4): Brian Burns, Morgan Fox, Yetur Gross-Matos, Marquis Haynes
DT (4): Derrick Brown, DaQuan Jones, Daviyon Nixon, Bravvion Roy
DL Analysis: Despite cutting ties with Kawann Short and Stephen Weatherly and losing Efe Obada to free agency, the Panthers defensive front is in pretty good shape. What’s interesting here is I don’t see there being any room for 7th round draft pick Phil Hoskins.
LB (7): Shaq Thompson, Denzel Perryman, Jeremy Chinn, Haason Reddick, Jermaine Carter Jr., Frankie Luvu, Julian Stanford
LB Analysis: Linebacker was a major weakness for Carolina in 2020. They had no depth and aside from Thompson, had essentially no production. If you haven’t noticed, the Panthers officially moved Jeremy Chinn from safety to linebacker on the official team site.
CB (6): Jaycee Horn, Donte Jackson, Rashaan Melvin, A.J. Bouye, Troy Pride Jr., Keith Taylor
CB Analysis: The other glaring need on defense was the cornerback room. Donte Jackson struggled to stay healthy in 2020 which meant a lot of young, inexperienced players were thrusted into roles they weren’t ready for. The additions of veterans A.J. Bouye and Rashaan Melvin in free agency and Jaycee Horn through the draft really give Carolina a lot of depth and a lot of options.