2015 Depth Charts: Carolina Panthers

| 2 years ago

2015 Depth Charts: Carolina Panthers


CAR DC

Notes

•  Cam Newton shows flashes of being Very Good, but the problem is that we haven’t seen it for long enough stretches to consider that to be his overall level. More play like he has to lead the Panthers to a late surge to win the NFC South would force us to rethink this next year though.

•  Kelvin Benjamin wasn’t the standout in a fantastic class of rookie receivers, but he did make enough plays to be considered at least average heading into his second season. Now the key is adding some consistency to go along with the big plays to take the next step in his career.

•  We were wary when deciding where to slot both of the Panthers top two cornerbacks. Neither played a large amount of snaps in 2014, but both played really well when they did.

•  Is this the best defensive line in football? Well, they do feature three Very Good players, with Short and Lotulelei an impressive duo in the middle of the line. Johnson might not be great against the run, but his work as a pass rusher pushes him into that top bracket.

Team Needs

Defensive End: As good as three of the players on that defensive line are, the Panthers could upgrade at the other defensive end spot, with both Kony Ealy or Wes Horton struggling in 2014. Ealy was a rookie, so perhaps they will be expecting him to improve drastically in his second season, but they could still find a short term upgrade in free agency without spending too much.

Wide Receiver: They made have used a first round draft pick on Benjamin last year, but wide receiver is still very much a need for the Panthers heading into 2015. Both Cotchery and Brown are capable receivers, but adding another top target for Newton would be a big boost for the offense.

Offensive Line: It’s entirely possible that the only starter shown above who will be in the lineup come opening day will be Ryan Kalil. Left tackle looks to be the biggest need just now though, so look for the Panthers to try to address that through free agency or the draft.

 

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| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • Jaguars28

    This team is great if they can stay healthy

    • Riffle,Rod&Fly

      It seems like the story has been that they’ve needed fresh backs for years now.

  • Chris

    Very generous for Roman Harper. I’d have been tempted with Red.

    I’d agree with the general consensus here. The Panthers don’t have any real weaknesses on offense but they don’t really do anything too well either – very average in all aspects. On defense their front 7 is approaching Seattle status, and their secondary is their weakness.

    • Jaguars28

      That secondary is getting better though, and was huge down the stretch. They found a couple of solid players in Benewikere and Boston.

      • Chris

        I think it’s more of the ‘almost anyone should look halfway decent with that front 7 in front of them’ effect.

        • Jack Casey

          Their front seven wasn’t great during the first half of the year.. The pass rush wasn’t the same as the year before and the DTs struggled early on… They eventually got it together later in the season.

          • Chris

            Which helps prove my point. Early in the season when the pass rush wasn’t as good, as you say, they were busy allowing 37 to PIT, 38 to BAL, 37 to CIN, 38 to GB, and 45 to PHI. That’s 5 games of 37+ in the first 10 weeks. With no pass rush to help out their middling secondary they were helpless at times.

            In their last 7 games, after the front 7 improved its performance, they allowed more than 19 points just once before the loss to Seattle in the playoffs.

          • Vincent Campbell

            Your wrong Mr unibomber. Our best corners didn’t start until halfway through the season so try again.