Monday Morning QB: Roster Analysis

The Carolina Panthers kept the focus on player development when they made their final round of cuts on Saturday. But will the Blue & Black be too green to compete? To find out, we break down the best and the worst of Carolina's final cuts.

Best Cut: Hunter Cantwell

The coaching staff tried to hype up Cantwell earlier this offseason, but it was clear he had no future with the team once Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike were drafted. Some opposed the idea of carrying two rookie QBs, but the Panthers decided to embrace the youth of their passing game by keeping two rookie QBs and three rookie WRs. It will definitely be a work in progress, but with an emphasis on the word progress.

Worst Cut: C.J. Wilson

This is one example of the Panthers choosing potential over productivity. Wilson was a star during training camp, showing superb athleticism and a knack for finding the ball. Yet he ultimately lost out to Robert McClain, Carolina's last pick in the draft. It seems the Panthers made the decision to develop every member of this year's draft class (nine of the draftees made the active roster while the tenth wound up on the practice squad), a decision that likely cost Wilson his job.

Best Keeper: Charly Martin

The second-year wide receiver has a playing style similar to Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots. Martin can work the entire field; he is a willing blocker; and he can both return and cover kicks. Seeing as Carolina's non-Steve Smith options are the plodding Dwayne Jarrett and a trio of rookies, Martin may very well emerge as a go-to target on third downs and in hurry-up situations.

Worst Keeper: Todd Carter

It is tough to burn four roster spots on specialists. Carter will have to boom every kickoff into the back of the end zone to justify this roster spot, something he has yet to prove capable of doing. It's tough to see guys like Eric Moore lose their roster spots in favor of a second kicker.

Practice Squad Sleeper: Josh Vaughan

Vaughan never had a chance to make the roster thanks to Carolina's impressive depth in the backfield, but this kid has a lot of talent. He still struggles to read defenses from time to time, but he shows great instincts and tenacity. With another year of development, he has a chance to emerge as a contributor.



What did you think of Carolina's roster moves? Discuss inside the message boards.




Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and also a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. You can see more of his updates by following him on Twitter.


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