Tommy Gilligan/USA Today

Carolina Panthers: Predicting the Depth Chart After First Preseason Game

The first preseason game is in the books for the Carolina Panthers after their 22-19 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. There was some standout performances from that game from players who are working their way onto the 53-man roster. Brandon Croce predicts what the depth chart might look like on September 8th against the Denver Broncos.

Offense

Position First String Second String Third String
Quarterback Cam Newton Derek Anderson Joe Webb
Running Back Jonathan Stewart Cameron Artis-Payne Fozzy Whittaker
Fullback Mike Tolbert
Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin Brenton Bersin Damiere Byrd
Wide Receiver Ted Ginn Jr. Philly Brown
Slot Wide Receiver Devin Funchess
Tight End Greg Olsen Ed Dickson Scott Simonson
Left Tackle Michael Oher Donald Hawkins
Left Guard Andrew Norwell David Yankey
Center Ryan Kalil Gino Gradkowski
Right Guard Trai Turner Chris Scott
Right Tackle Mike Remmers Daryl Williams

Notes

  • Damiere Byrd has had a tremendous training camp for the Carolina Panthers and had a great performance against the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night. He finished the game with one reception for 35 yards but made most of his impact on special teams with 78 yards on kick returns and nine yards on punt returns. The Panthers might have to carry six wide receivers to keep Byrd but if he keeps playing the way he has been, they won't have a problem with it.
  • Another player who has worked his way onto the roster is Scott Simonson, who also has had a strong training camp. The coaching staff is going to have a really tough decision to make at the tight end position because if they keep six wide receivers, it will be hard to keep four tight ends. This means that they will have to cut a quality player at the position, which at this point, I think will be rookie Beau Sandland. The team will probably hope he makes it through waivers and then they can place him on their practice squad.

Defense

Position First String Second String Third String
Defensive End Kony Ealy Ryan Delaire
Defensive Tackle Kawann Short Vernon Butler Kyle Love
Defensive Tackle Star Lotulelei Paul Soliai
Defensive End Charles Johnson Mario Addison
Strongside Linebacker Shaq Thompson A.J. Klein Jeremy Cash
Middle Linebacker Luke Kuechly A.J. Klein
Weakside Linebacker Thomas Davis A.J. Klein David Mayo
Cornerback Robert McClain Daryl Worley
Cornerback James Bradberry
Nickelback Bene Benwikere Zack Sanchez
Strong Safety Kurt Coleman Dean Marlowe
Free Safety Tre Boston Colin Jones

Notes

  • Even though the Panthers had two rookies listed as the starters at cornerbacks, I think Robert McClain has made enough of a case to start for this defense. The veteran cornerback has seen an increase of practice time with the first-string defense and I expect that trend to continue throughout the preseason. McClain was the starter during the Panthers' playoff run last year and showed he is more than capable

Special Teams

Position First String Second String
Placekicker Graham Gano
Punter Mike Scifres
Long Snapper J.J. Jansen
Kickoff Return Fozzy Whittaker Ted Ginn Jr.
Punt Return Ted Ginn Jr. Damiere Byrd

Notes

  • There isn't much of a surprise on special teams and I imagine this is pretty well set with Mike Scifres being the veteran punter and should beat out Swayze Waters.

Twitter @BrandonCroce

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