14. Tobias Palmer
Tobias Palmer out of NC State is at best a practice squad player for the Carolina Panthers. At 26 years old Palmer has journeyed around the NFL and is joining his fifth team. It would be quite the challenge for Palmer to make the final 53-man roster with all the competition that sits in front of him.
13. LaRon Byrd
Byrd, like Palmer has also spent his career as a journeyman. Byrd is on his sixth different NFL team now, recently spending time on the practice squads of the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, and the Washington Redskins. If Byrd has a spot on the Panthers, like Palmer, it will more than likely be on the practice squad.
12. Avius Capers
Capers is a Charlotte native attending high school at Independence High and going to college at Johnson C. Smith University. Capers very briefly spent time with the Panthers last season during training camp, however he was cut during the first wave of roster cuts.
11. Cobi Hamilton
The Panthers will be Hamilton’s fourth NFL team. Hamilton spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals (twice), Philadelphia Eagles, and most recently the Miami Dolphins. Only one time during his career was Hamilton promoted to the 53-man roster by the Bengals. However, he was released during the following offseason.
10. Miles Shuler
Miles Shuler out of Northwestern is an interesting prospect. At Northwestern he was barely involved in the passing game and spent most of his time on the special teams unit. At the combine however Shuler showed everyone his speed, posting combine times of 4.38 and 4.37 in the 40-yard dash and also showed he has some promise as a return man.
Still waiting for his opportunity is the former Seattle fourth round pick Kevin Norwood. Norwood was active for the Panthers early in the season against the Texans however a pass from quarterback Cam Newton deflected off of his hands and was intercepted. He was inactive for the remainder of the season. This will more than likely be Norwood’s final chance to show Carolina that he can make a difference.
8. Damiere Byrd
It appears Byrd is ready to take the next step and legitimately compete for a spot on the final 53-man roster. Byrd served his time on the Panther’s practice squad and added some good weight to his frame to go along with the speed he brings to the table. If Byrd can impress as a return man I think he has a very good chance at making the team.
Known for having one of the most consistent set of hands on team, Bersin has used that consistency to slip his way into the final roster the last few seasons. However, the Panthers are going to be looking at Bersin to take the next step this season otherwise he could find himself being the odd man out.
6. Stephen Hill
Hill has been waiting on his chance to make an impact on a team for a few season now, this offseason could be his last chance. A former NFL combine superstar, Hill definitely has the size, speed, and raw talent to compete in the NFL. It’s a matter of if he has the ability to consistently produce on the field that will keep him in the NFL.
5. Philly Brown
Philly Brown is entering his third season with the Panthers and after being a starter the past few season the Panthers will also be looking at him to take the next step and increase his production. Brown is one of the best route runners on the team and if he can take his game to the next level he will surely remain on the roster.
The undrafted free agent that many are excited to see cracks my Top 5. In terms of raw talent I think Garrett is already one of the best receivers that the Panthers have on the roster. After leading the entire NCAA in receiving yards it was extremely surprising to see him go undrafted. This will give him a huge chip on his shoulder when he arrives to training camp.
3. Ted Ginn Jr.
Now the veteran of the receiver core, Ginn is coming off the best season of his career. However I believe Ginn will find it harder to make this team than he may think. At times last season Ginn was extremely inconsistent when it came to catching the football. If the Panthers find a better punt returner and a player steps up in training camp and shows the ability to produce similarly to Ginn as a receiver, he could see his career at Carolina come to an end.
Devin Funchess came into his own at the end of the 2015 season. Time to learn the offense and chemistry with quarterback Cam Newton surely helped his cause. A full NFL offseason is going to do Funchess justice and he will surely look to command the number 2 receiver spot.
After suffering his devastating injury during the last off season, Kelvin Benjamin is back and ready to show the world how he will contribute to a Panthers offense that finished first in scoring without him. Benjamin has the potential to be the missing piece that could help win Carolina its first Super Bowl.null