Whereas nonetheless within the early phases of rebuilding their depth chart, the Carolina Panthers shortly constructed momentum below their new regime. Following a commerce for a brand new quarterback, the Panthers now flip their eyes to the NFL Draft as they search for the subsequent integral items of their evolution.
Carolina Panthers Depth Chart
Quarterback: Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker, Will Grier, Tommy Stevens
Operating Again: Christian McCaffrey, Trenton Cannon, Reggie Bonnafon, Rodney Smith, Darius Clark
Large Receiver: D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, David Moore, Brandon Zylstra, Micah Simon, Omar Bayless, Keith Kirkwood, Marken Michel, Ventell Bryant, Ishmael Hyman
Tight Finish: Dan Arnold, Ian Thomas, Colin Thompson, Giovanni Ricci, Stephen Sullivan
Offensive Sort out: Cameron Erving, Taylor Moton, Greg Little, Matt Kaskey, Trent Scott, Aaron Monteiro
Offensive Guard: Pat Elflein, John Miller, Sam Tecklenburg, Dennis Daley, Mike Horton
Middle: Matt Paradis
Inside Defensive Line: Derrick Brown, Bravvion Roy, Mike Panasiuk
EDGE: Haason Reddick, Brian Burns, Yetur Gross-Matos, Christian Miller, Marquis Haynes, Austin Larkin, Daniel Bituli
Linebacker: Denzel Perryman, Shaq Inexperienced-Thompson, Jermaine Carter, Jordan Mack, Frankie Luvu, Chris Orr, Clay Johnston
Cornerback: Rashaan Melvin, A.J. Bouye, Donte Jackson, Troy Delight, Myles Hartsfield, Stantley Thomas-Oliver
Security: Jeremy Chinn, Juston Burris, Kenny Robinson, Sean Chandler, Sam Franklin, Jalen Julius
Kicker: Joey Slye
Punter: Joseph Charlton
Lengthy Snapper: J.J. Jansen
Panthers Depth Chart Evaluation | Offense
After months of hypothesis, the Panthers accomplished a commerce that can have a brand new QB sitting atop their depth chart — simply not the one most followers had been clamoring for all offseason. On Monday [April 5], Carolina accomplished a commerce that despatched a 2021 sixth, 2022 second, and a 2022 fourth-round choose to the New York Jets in trade for Sam Darnold.
Like myself, many consider that Darnold wanted a change of surroundings. Taking part in below Matt Rhule and Joe Brady could possibly be exactly what the exorcist ordered to eliminate these pesky ghosts that hang-out him.
What occurs now with Teddy Bridgewater? Signed to a three-year deal earlier than 2020, he performed properly sufficient to get the job performed, however that isn’t the time period you need to use when describing the chief of your offense. Whereas not formally said, Bridgewater appears to have fallen down the Panthers’ depth chart, although they’ve mentioned this doesn’t change the draft technique. We may see rookie QB chosen to sit down behind each Darnold and Bridgewater whereas the workforce offers them a possibility. Whether or not that is a chance to win the beginning job or elevate their commerce worth is the query.
As if 2020 didn’t suck sufficient, these of you who had the 1.01 in your fantasy soccer leagues probably obtained a swift kick within the nether areas final 12 months as Christian McCaffrey missed nearly all of the season. Belief me, I really feel your ache on this. When on the sector, McCaffrey is the most effective working again within the NFL, and he demonstrated it once more final season in restricted time. McCaffrey rushed 59 instances for 225 yards with 5 touchdowns in simply three video games and noticed 19 targets, catching 17 for 149 and one other rating.
With Mike Davis becoming a member of the Atlanta Falcons this offseason, the RB2 function on the Panthers’ depth chart is up for grabs.
Rodney Smith could possibly be seen because the “favourite” as they head into camp. Smith ended the 2020 season on a excessive observe when he recorded his first profession landing. Trenton Cannon is within the combine as properly however noticed solely 10 carries over his final two seasons mixed. Reggie Bonnafon had 12 carries final season whereas showing in two video games.
One factor you’ll by no means hear out of me is D.J. Moore slander. I’ll head to the highest of each water tower to defend his honor, and with Darnold below heart, Moore can show the detractors mistaken. In three years, Moore has 208 receptions, 3,156 yards, and 10 whole touchdowns. Since 2019, Moore is the one WR with back-to-back 1,200-total-yard seasons within the NFL.
Anytime you add a brand new QB, there’s a interval the place gamers must gel. That befell when Darnold and WR Robby Anderson had been collectively on the New York Jets, and each gamers ought to be on the identical web page from Day 1. Anderson totaled 102 catches for 1,531 yards and 11 TDs in 30 video games performed with Darnold.
With Curtis Samuel gone, the WR3 on the Panthers’ depth chart is up for grabs. One possibility could possibly be former Seahawks WR David Moore, who signed in free company. Moore had 35 catches for 417 yards and 6 touchdowns final 12 months.
Brandon Zylstra re-signed with the Panthers within the offseason however was primarily a special-teams contributor. He was on the sector for 12% of Carolina’s offensive performs, recording 3 receptions for 35 yards.
When OTAs begin to hearth up, bear in mind the title Micah Simon. A WR from BYU, Simon went undrafted in 2020 and ended his collegiate profession with 90 receptions for 1,109 yards and 5 TDs (40 video games).
Right here is the place issues get fascinating. On the 2021 BYU Professional Day, everybody was there to see Zach Wilson, together with Panthers GM Scott Fitterer and OC Joe Brady. Simon was one in every of Wilson’s receivers. He impressed along with his routes and ball catching and likewise laid down a blistering 4.34 40-yard sprint. Fitterer and Brady got here away so enamored they signed him to a three-year contract two days later to the veteran minimal.
To say the tight finish place is an afterthought in Carolina’s offense can be a slight understatement. In 2020, no workforce focused the place lower than Carolina. In whole, solely 7.8% (41) of the targets had been for tight ends.
That didn’t cease the Panthers from including a probable new starter to their depth chart in Dan Arnold. Taking part in for the Arizona Cardinals, Arnold had 31 catches for 438 yards (14.1 yards per catch) and 4 touchdowns.
Partially as a consequence of scheme and sitting behind Greg Olsen, Ian Thomas has but to have a breakthrough in his profession. Thomas made 17 begins over his three seasons, recording 72 receptions for 614 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Offensive Sort out
Cameron Erving signed to play for the Panthers through the offseason, because the workforce appears to stabilize the offensive line. Since being drafted in 2015, Erving has performed in 75 video games with 47 begins, taking part in in 16 video games as soon as however by no means beginning greater than 13 video games.
Beginning each sport since being drafted in 2017, Taylor Moton noticed the Panthers place the franchise tag on him through the offseason. He allowed simply 3 sacks on 1,057 snaps in 2020.
Greg Little appeared in 10 video games final season, beginning three at left sort out. He ended the season on the IR with an ankle damage.
Introduced in as a free agent, Pat Elflein began in 47 of his 50 profession video games for each the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets. Elflein has expertise in any respect three inside offensive line positions.
RG John Miller is again with the membership for a second season. Miller made 14 begins final season after spending his first 5 years with the Payments and Bengals.
Matt Paradis restructured his contract to assist the Panthers have extra wage cap area to redistribute amongst the opposite enhancements to the depth chart. He has began each sport in his first two seasons with Carolina.
Panthers Evaluation | Protection
Inside Defensive Line
In Derrick Brown’s rookie season out of Auburn, the 2020 No. 7 choose confirmed why the Panthers may construct their DL depth chart round him. He recorded 34 tackles, 2 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, 4 passes defensed, 8 tackles for loss, and 19 pressures all through the marketing campaign.
Bravvion Roy completed the 2020 season with 29 tackles (13 solo) and a sack in 15 video games. A sixth-round final 12 months, Roy was drafted by his faculty coach Matt Rhule and began Carolina’s closing 9 video games.
Haason Reddick signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Panthers throughout free company. A primary-round choose in 2017, Reddick broke out in 2020 with 12.5 sacks after producing simply 7.5 sacks over his earlier three seasons mixed.
Brian Burns performed in 15 video games whereas making 14 begins final season however missed the regular-season finale with a shoulder stinger. The 22-year-old ended his season with 58 tackles (35 solo), 9 sacks, 4 passes defensed, and three pressured fumbles.
A second-round choice of final 12 months’s draft, Yetur Gross-Matos noticed his rookie season get off to a gradual begin as a consequence of an ankle damage however did begin the ultimate seven weeks. Gross-Matos completed the 2020 season with 24 tackles (9 solo), 2.5 sacks, and 1 pressured fumble in 12 video games.
Christian Miller opted out of the 2020 season.
Denzel Perryman heads to the Panthers after a disappointing season that noticed him lose his beginning job with the Los Angeles Chargers. He completed the season with 48 tackles and 1 pressured fumble throughout 13 video games. The opposite concern is well being for Perryman. Now 28, he has didn’t play 16 video games in every of his six seasons with the Chargers, and he’s missed a mixed 21 contests over the past 4 years.
Second on the Panthers’ depth chart in tackles, Shaq Inexperienced-Thompson noticed his contract restructured to avoid wasting the workforce $6.2 million in wage cap area. A 2015 first-round choose, Inexperienced-Thompson recorded 114 tackles, 5 passes defensed, and a couple of pressured fumbles.
Jermaine Carter noticed an elevated function through the second half of final season, the place he recorded all however 4 of his 46 tackles.
A UDFA out of Virginia, Jordan Mack opted out of the 2020 season.
The final time we noticed Rashaan Melvin, he was suiting up for the Detroit Lions in 2019 and had a career-best season the place he recorded 68 tackles and 11 passes defensed in 13 video games. After opting out of the 2020 season, Melvin signed with the Panthers on a one-year contract throughout free company.
The newest addition to the Panthers’ depth chart, CB A.J. Bouye agreed to a contract with the workforce on Wednesday [April 7]. Bouye, 29, was launched by Denver after showing in solely seven video games due to accidents and suspension. He will even miss the primary two video games because of the carry-over of his PED suspension. Bouye recorded 23 tackles and 6 passes defensed final season.
Donte Jackson completed 2020 with 34 tackles (22 solo), 3 interceptions, and 11 passes defensed in 14 video games. Jackson had 2 interceptions within the first three video games however handled a toe damage which hampered his pay.
Attributable to a groin damage, rookie CB Troy Delight ended his season within the IR after totaling 42 tackles (27 solo) and a couple of passes defensed in 14 video games.
After we look again on the 2020 NFL Draft, the steal of the draft may find yourself being Jeremy Chinn earlier than his profession is over. In 15 video games, Chinn completed with a team-high 117 tackles, 5 passes defensed, 1 interception, 1 sack, 2 fumbles pressured, 2 fumbles recovered, and a couple of defensive touchdowns. He additionally had probably the most unbelievable collection of performs in current historical past. Chinn grew to become the primary defensive participant ever to return 2 fumbles for a landing on consecutive defensive performs. He additionally grew to become the primary participant in Carolina historical past to have 2 defensive TDs in a single sport.
Juston Burris began a career-high 12 video games for the Panthers final season. He posted a career-best 53 tackles (34 solo) and an interception with 4 passes defensed in 13 video games.
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Tommy Garrett is a author for Professional Soccer Community masking the NFL and fantasy soccer. You may learn extra of his work right here and observe him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.