2015 Depth Charts Update: Carolina Panthers
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- The Panthers have addressed the wide receiver position in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that things are completely set there yet. While Kelvin Benjamin made some big plays as a rookie, he also had the third worst drop rate of all starting receivers, dropping 11 of the 84 catchable passes thrown his way. He needs to improve on that in 2015, while the same questions will be asked of rookie Devin Funchess. A big target, it looks like the Panthers see him as a “big slot” receiver, which makes sense, but he too comes with concerns about his hands, which will be something to look out for.
- They also addressed their need for a starting left tackle, but consider us amongst those who aren’t convinced that they’ve made the right move. Michael Oher is slated to start on the left after finishing 2014 with our 10th-lowest grade among all OTs. More concerning is that Oher’s grade has declined in every season since he impressed as a rookie at right tackle.
- The Panthers have an interesting blend up front, where we feel three of their four starters, Charles Johnson, Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short are all good enough to be classed as high quality, forming a formidable defensive line. We aren’t high at all on the fourth starter in Wes Horton, who managed just 14 total pressures in 2014.
- Completing an impressive front seven are linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, both who we feel are good enough to be classed as elite. Kuechly, our highest-graded inside linebacker in 2014, impressed both against the run, and in coverage, where he again lead all inside linebackers in terms of coverage grade. Similarly, Davis finished 2014 tied for the highest grade in coverage at 4-3 outside linebacker.