Carolina Panthers Position Analysis: Wide Receiver

The Carolina Panthers wide receiver position is one of the deepest on the roster and the organization will have some tough decisions to make when they have to start making roster cuts.

Carolina Panthers Wide Receivers

Name Height Weight College
Kelvin Benjamin 6-5 245 Florida State
Brenton Bersin 6-3 210 Wofford
Philly Brown 5-11 185 Ohio State
Damiere Byrd 5-9 175 South Carolina
LaRon Byrd 6-4 230 Miami (Fla.)
Avius Capers 5-9 200 Johnson C. Smith
Devin Funchess 6-4 225 Michigan
Keyarris Garrett 6-3 220 Tulsa
Ted Ginn Jr. 5-11 185 Ohio State
Cobi Hamilton 6-2 200 Arkansas
Stephen Hill 6-4 215 Georgia Tech
Kevin Norwood 6-2 200 Alabama
Tobais Palmer 5-10 195 North Carolina State
Miles Shuler 5-10 180 Northwestern

Training Camp Battles

Slot Wide Receiver

Brenton Bersin vs. Devin Funchess vs. Kevin Norwood

The Panthers are going to have a number of tough decisions this offseason and one of those is finding the replacement for Jerricho Cotchery, who was released after the Super Bowl. The Panthers are going to need to find a possession wide receiver, who has reliable hands and can move the chains.

The roster has three players who I consider to be in contention for that role with Devin Funchess as the favorite. The second-year wide receiver had a strong finish to his rookie season and finished with 31 receptions for 473 receiving yards and five touchdowns. However, he struggled with dropped passes last year and this is something he will need to prove is behind him for him to earn this spot.

Brenton Bersin is a player who will be entering his third season with the team and spent the first two between the practice squad and active roster. There is nothing really flashy with Bersin however he is reliable, has great hands and does a great job moving the chains. He is the prototypical possession wide receiver and could be the perfect fit.

The sleeper for this role has to be Kevin Norwood, who the team traded for before the 2015 season. However, he struggled getting onto the field and had only one target all season that unfortunately went right through his hands and was intercepted. He has the potential to play this role for this offense, the question is will he seize the opportunity.

Final Wide Receiver Spot

Keyarris Garrett vs. Damiere Byrd vs. Stephen Hill

The fact that the Panthers have 14 players currently on the roster, it will be a heated and highly competitive training camp battle for that final spot. Right now, there are four players who should feel confident about this spot on the roster and that includes Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn Jr. and Philly Brown. That final fifth, and potentially sixth, spot on the depth chart is still up for grabs.

Along with Bersin and Norwood, Stephen Hill, Damiere Byrd and Keyarris Garrett will be heavily involved in that battle for the final spot on the depth chart. Hill has been with the Panthers the past few seasons and is a former second round pick, who has tremendous potential but hasn't been able to reach it yet. He is coming off a knee injury suffered during training camp last year and the health of that knee could be a key factor in his ability to make the roster.

Damiere Byrd is an undrafted free agent, who spent last year on the Panthers' practice squad. He is a bit undersized but is incredibly fast and very elusive. However, Byrd has a similar skill set to Ginn and Brown and that could not leave a roster spot for Byrd.

Player to Watch

Keyarris Garrett

The one player that could take this wide receiver position from good to great is an undrafted wide receiver out of Tulsa. Keyarris Garrett has a great combination of size at 6'3" and speed, running a 4.40 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. 

Prior to the NFL Draft, CBS Sports' Rob Rang wrote in Garrett's scouting report: "With a combination of height, strong hands and the speed to streak away from opponents, there were moments in 2015 in which Garrett brought back memories of a young Randy Moss. While he possesses the talent to warrant early round consideration, Garrett remains quite raw and may need a strong supporting staff and patience to maximize his potential."

If Garrett is able to have a strong offseason, adding him to the Panthers' offense will make this even tougher to stop than in 2015.

Twitter @BrandonCroce

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