On Monday the Carolina Panthers released their first actual depth chart of the 2020 NFL season. We now have a real idea on who impressed in Panthers training camp. Let us take a look at the first and second string units.
On paper this offense is one of the better offenses the Carolina Panthers have put together in recent years. For the first time in a long while there are two wide receivers capable of making game breaking plays. DJ Moore and Robby Anderson will make Panthers starting QB Teddy Bridgewater’s transition to Carolina much smoother.
Of course, if nothing else, Christian McCaffrey will likely have 200 yards of offense himself, something we tend to take for granted.
The bad news for the Carolina Panthers offense is the interior offensive line. Center Matt Paradis was less than impressive last season, to put it nicely. Training camp was not kind to him either. Throw in a guard on each side of him that are average at best and things could get ugly.
Look for a large helping of dink and dunk football this Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady won’t want to require his offensive line to protect for more than three seconds.
This is where things could go south quickly.
While the starting unit here is loaded with talent and potential, it lacks in experience at key positions. I love the right side of the Carolina Panthers defensive line. Having both Derrick Brown and Yetur Gross-Matos start on day one is a win for the franchise. By mid season they could develop into a solid tandem. Throw in the fact that KK Short and Brian Burns could already be one of the better defensive duos in the NFC and the entire Panthers defensive line could quickly be one of the best in football.
Now the bad news. Once again the Panthers find themselves in real trouble at corner. Donte Jackson regressed in 2019 and saw less playing time as a result. He says that he is now taking his job more seriously, but he will need to prove it. Fourth round rookie Troy Pride Jr is starting across from Jackson. Even a first round rookie would likely struggle for the first half of the NFL season. A late round rookie will lose you games all season long. This is the Carolina Panthers’ Achilles heal and the biggest reason they may be selecting early again in next year’s draft.
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