Jeremy Brevard/USA Today

Ranking the Carolina Panthers' Wide Receivers in the NFC South

The Carolina Panthers get their number one wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, back this season. Is it enough to move the Panthers' wide receiver to the best group in the NFC South?

Over the next few weeks we will be going through the division by position, handing out our rankings to determine which team has the best roster entering the 2016 season. The position groups will be ranked based not only on the starter but the depth behind them from first to fourth with the best team receiving four points. These point totals will then be added up to determine who has the best team this season.

1. Carolina Panthers (4 Points)

Wide Receivers: Kelvin BenjaminTed Ginn Jr.Devin FunchessPhilly BrownBrenton BersinKevin NorwoodDamiere ByrdKeyarris Garrett

The Panthers don't have the best wide receiver in the division however there is no team in the NFC South that has the kind of depth the Panthers do. It starts with their number one wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, who is back after suffering a torn ACL injury during training camp last year.

After Benjamin though, this offense has a pass catcher who caught 10 touchdowns last year (Ted Ginn Jr.), a former second-round pick (Devin Funchess) who has tremendous potential and speedsters like Philly Brown and Damiere Byrd. The coaching staff and front office is going to have a tough task this training camp to cut down to five, or six, wide receivers before the start of the year.

2. Atlanta Falcons (3 Points)

Wide Receivers: Julio JonesMohamed SanuJustin HardyDevin HesterEric Weems

The Falcons wide receivers may be second in the division and that is due in large part to Julio Jones, who is arguably the best wide receiver in the league right now. For the second straight season he had over 100 receptions and for the first time in his career was targeted over 200 times.

A player like Jones will cover up other weaknesses and the Falcons lack the kind of depth the Panthers have at the position. They signed Mohamed Sanu during the offseason to replace the released Roddy White and hope second-year wide receiver Justin Hardy can have a bigger role in this offense.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2 Points)

Wide Receivers: Mike EvansVincent JacksonDonteea DyeAdam HumphriesLouis Murphy

The Bucs wide receivers are led by third-year wide receiver Mike Evans, who had his second consecutive 1,000 receiving yards season last year. He did struggle getting to the end zone though after registering 12 touchdowns his rookie season with only three last year.

After Evans is veteran Vincent Jackson, who is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career with only 33 receptions. This offense and quarterback Jameis Winston will need a bounce back season from Jackson for this passing attack to really reach it's potential.

4. New Orleans Saints (1 Point)

Wide Receivers: Brandin CooksMichael ThomasWillie Snead Jr.Brandon Coleman

It is hard to imagine that the prolific passing attack that the Saints have with Drew Brees at quarterback could have the worst wide receiver group in the NFC South. While this group has potential, there is still plenty of question marks for this group entering the season.

Brandin Cooks is an electric wide receiver however he will need to prove to be more consistent and show he is capable of being a number one wide receiver. The Saints brought in help this offseason by drafting Michael Thomas out of Ohio State, who has plenty of upside but that may not be realized in his first season in the league.

Similar to Thomas, Willie Snead Jr. and Brandon Coleman have excellent potential. If these three receivers reach that this season, this group is sure to move up in the rankings.

Team Quarterback Running Back Wide Receiver Tight End Offensive Line Total
Carolina Panthers 4 3 4 11
New Orleans Saints 3 1 1 5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 4 2 8
Atlanta Falcons 1 2 3 6

 

*Depth charts courtesy of Ourlads.com

Twitter @BrandonCroce

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