Carolina Panthers Position Analysis: Running Back

Jonathan Stewart is coming off one of his best seasons in his NFL career last year however there remains some question marks behind him on the roster for the Carolina Panthers. Brandon Croce breaks down the Panthers' running back position.

Carolina Panthers Running Backs

Name Height Weight College
Cameron Artis-Payne 5-10 220 Auburn
Jalen Simmons 5-8 205 South Carolina State
Jonathan Stewart 5-10 235 Oregon
Brandon Wegher 5-10 215 Morningside College
Fozzy Whittaker 5-10 205 Texas

Training Camp Battle

Cameron Artis-Payne vs. Fozzy Whittaker vs. Brandon Wegher

The most important training camp battle for the running back position will be for the number two spot on the depth chart behind Jonathan Stewart. Last year, Stewart was the featured back and carried the ball 242 times, compared to only 70 carries for the other three running backs listed.

The Panthers coaching staff may want to take a different approach this season though as the increased workload could have attributed to Stewart's injury late in the regular season. He was forced to miss the final three regular season games and the Panthers offense would have struggled to move the ball on the ground if it wasn't for Cam Newton.

The front office didn't add any new running backs this year, other than Jalen Simmons who is a longshot to make the 53-man roster. However, there is reason to believe the players on the roster could be the answer. Cameron Artis-Payne showed some flashes at time and with a full offseason could develop the consistency necessary to earn the job and Brandon Wegher looked good in the preseason.

Player to Watch

Brandon Wegher

The one player to watch this offseason is that running back who looked excellent in preseason, Brandon Wegher. The undrafted running back had 29 carries in the preseason last year running for 110 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He played well enough to earn a spot on the team's practice squad and was even active for Week 17 last year.

Wegher finished his collegiate career with Morningside College, where he broke the NAIA singe-season record for rushing yards, but started his career at the University of Iowa. As a Hawkeye, he rushed for six touchdowns as a freshman, which is a school record. He certainly has the talent and with a year of practice, he could not only be ready to make the jump to the active roster but possibly all the way up to number two on the depth chart.

Twitter @BrandonCroce

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