Wide Receiver Roundup
The Carolina Panthers have made quite a few small moves at wide receiver this offseason, I think a roundup is in order for the casual fan.
Featured on their roster are nine total wide receivers.
Jason Avant, 6'0, 9 years exp
Brenton Bersin, 6'3, 1 year exp
Toney Clemmons, 6'2, 1 year exp
Jerricho Cotchery, 6'1, 11 years exp
Tavarres King, 6'1, 2 years exp
Marvin McNutt, 6'2, 2 years exp
Kealoha Pilares, 5'10, 4 years exp
Tiquan Underwood, 6'1, 6 years exp
RJ Webb, 6'2, 2 years exp
The Panthers typically keep up to 5 receivers on their regular season roster. Looking at this list, one could speculate that Bersin, Clemmons, Webb, and King are the odd men out. If the Panthers do draft one or more wide receivers in May, McNutt and Pilares are on the bubble. Yes, I know McNutt almost caught one pass against Atlanta last season. Cut it out.
This leaves the main players on the roster currently. Here is a bit on them individually.....
Jerricho Cotchery - The field general of the group. A solid number three with veteran savvy and more importantly an ability to make those around him better. A real asset in the locker room, perhaps a mentor for the younger guys (possibly drafted?).
Tiquan Underwood - A former 7th round selection that has managed to stick in the NFL and produce. You should not discount that fact, it shows real drive. He had 4 touchdowns last season and averages 18 yards a reception while being thrown to by inferior talent in Tampa Bay. Underwood could be poised to have a break out year with an actual legitimate QB for the first time in his career. Possible number 2 talent and an upgrade over Brandon Lafell depending on his ceiling.
Jason Avant - The most recent Panthers signing. Possibly a number 2 for the Panthers. Avant had a down year last year for the eagles. This was possibly due to Chip Kelly's offense spreading the ball around more. Before then, Avant had three consecutive seasons with over fifty completions.
The good news is the Panthers have not downgraded all that much from last season.
Many in the media are pointing out that the Panthers do not have a number one receiver on the roster. While this is true, one could argue they did not truly have a number one receiver last season either. A good indication of this is the fact that TE Greg Olsen led the team in receptions.
In summary, the Panthers are a draft pick or two away from actually having improved their wide receiver roster without spending much money to do so.