The premier player analytics site in the world, Pro Football Focus, has recently offered a one day free trial to new customers. This free trial includes all of their player rankings and grades, including every piece of data accessible on our Carolina Panthers. I have signed up and written down each notable Panther’s stats, and where they rank among their NFL peers. Enjoy.
Cam Newton- After Sunday’s clutch performance against the Seahawks, Cam Newton entered PFF’s list of top ten QBs. The Panthers’ 100 million dollar man is currently the ninth best quarterback in the NFL, and owns the second best run grade among top ten signal callers.
Jonathan Stewart: Stewart is currently PFF’s 15th ranked running back in the NFL. J Stew has a solid run grade of 75.3, a below average receiving grade of 59.5, and a great pass blocking grade of 82.3.
Cameron Artis-Payne: The rookie from Auburn has been average in the limited amount of snaps he’s played. Artis-Payne is the 42nd ranked running back in the NFL, and the second highest ranked Panther in the same category.
Fozzy Whittaker: The Panthers’ lowest rated back is the former savior of our playoff game versus the Cardinals. Whittaker has the highest receiving grade of Panther running backs, but also owns the lowest pass block and run grade of the three.
Mike Tolbert: The former Pro Bowler is ranked 25th out of 32 eligible full backs in the NFL. His pass blocking and run blocking have been incredibly poor, but his rushing and receiving grades are above average for his position. This is nothing surprising regarding Tolbert’s style of play, and he has been effective on short yardage plays this year.
Jerricho Cotchery: Cotch is currently the highest rated Panther receiver, and he is 40th in the NFL (*sheds tear*). He’s been just average in receiving and run blocking thus far. His return from injury has been big for us, and he should continue to provide Cam with a soft pair of hand to throw to.
Brenton Bersin: Fresh off the practice squad, Bersin has graded out as the 51st best receiver in the league, and the second best on the team. According to PFF, he is the best run blocker among our wide outs and owns the second best pair of hands in our corp.
Philly Brown: The former UDFA has been quiet throughout the first five games of the season. His small stature makes him the worst run blocker on the team, but his contributions running the ball have been key to opening up some early drives for the Panthers. He is the 72nd ranked wide receiver in the league.
Ted Ginn: Just because Ginn has been our most productive receiver doesn't necessarily mean he’s been our most effective. His drops have lowered his receiving grade, and makes him the 4th best receiver on our team and the 94th best in the NFL.
Kevin Norwood: Norwood has only seen one ball come his way this season, and it was a drop turned interception. He ranks as the 157th wide receiver in the league, and the second best run blocker in our receiver group.
Devin Funchess: The second round pick out of Michigan is the 162nd ranked wide receiver in the league, and the worst receiver to take snaps for the Panthers. His drops have certainly hurt his score, and his poor run blocking hasn't helped his cause. On the other hand he is improving week by week, and may be poised for a breakout against the Eagles.
Greg Olsen: The savior of our offense is currently ranked as the 11th best tight end in the league. Before you get angry, you have to realize all that goes into Pro Football Focus’ grading. Tight ends are responsible for run blocking, pass blocking, and receiving. Olsen owns the second best receiving grade at his position and one of the top grades in pass blocking. It’s his gosh awful run blocking grade of 22.3 that drops him down to #11 in the rankings.
Richie Brockel: Brockel has only played three snaps, and posts slightly below average grades across the board. The 65th best tight end in the league.
Ed Dickson: Dickson has been a disappointment, and hasn't given us that two tight end attack we’ve been craving since Jeremy Shockey’s departure. He is posting failing grades all around, and finds himself as the 104th best at his position.
Michael Oher: So far, so mediocre for the Panthers’ left tackle. Oher has been average in pass protection, and dumpster fire in run blocking thus far. I’ll turn my cheek to his pitfalls in the run game as long as he continues to keep Cam relatively clean. Oher is the 39th ranked offensive tackle in the league, and definitely an improvement over Byron Bell.
Mike Remmers: Last season’s surprise has been barely average through five games this season. He is failing in pass protection, but has been our best tackle in the run game. Currently the 48th best tackle in the league, Remmers better watch his back when Daryl Williams returns from injury.
Chris Scott: The versatile backup has been just that, a backup. In eight snaps he has graded out as the 59th best tackle in the league, and our second best in pass pro.
Trai Turner: Turner has been nothing short of awesome this year. He is currently PFF’s fourth best guard in the league, and is trending towards elite status. He has been equally great pass protection and run blocking. The man is only 22 years old, and has an incredibly bright future in front of him.
Andrew Norwell: The former undrafted free agent from Ohio State has been almost equally as good as his fellow guard, and finds himself as the 6th best at his position. The 23 year old projects to be the starter along side Turner for many years to come, and the tandem promises to be the most dominant guard duo in Panther history.
Ryan Kalil: The center piece of our offensive line may be having his best season as a Panther. He is Pro Football Focus’ highest graded center by a large amount, 6.7 points. He has been so much better than he was last year, and completes the best interior offensive line in football thus far. The hog mollies in the middle continue to grow together, and should have Panther Nation very excited.
Fernando Velasco: In very limited snaps, Velasco has graded out as the 14th best center in the league. Though it would be devastating if Kalil were to ever go down; it is good to know we have a solid replacement waiting in the wings.
Keep an eye out, Where The Panthers’ Players Rank In The NFL: Part Two Defense, is coming soon.
By Grant Hughes
Follow Grant on Twitter @KenjonVander