Summer is heating up and so are the looming Camp Battles. The road to Super Bowl 51 starts here. There are a lot of them for the Panthers this year, which is a great thing. Below are a few of them as I focus on the offense. Who is in? Who is out? Here are some of my early takes.
I believe there will be six WRs on the roster this year and with 12 in camp that means six guys will not make the 53-man roster. Let’s weed out the clean camp body’s and we are left with 9 guys, Kelvin, Funchess, Ginn, Hill, Brown, Berson, Norwood, Byrd and Garrett.
Kelvin and Funchess are locks and Ginn being a 10 TD guy last year gives him an edge. Brown has been productive for two years but some feel not productive enough to stick around. Garrett is someone we are all high on and he has amazing hands but is a rookie who has a hill to climb. Berson looks to be the first guy out. Byrd may be the fastest guy in the NFL and coaches have been raving about him. Yes, he is still small in size but has gotten bigger in the offseason. Norwood was someone they wanted and has good hands for third down. Hill was someone they wanted to bring back and if he fixed his drops watch out NFL.
MY PICKS- Kelvin, Funchess, Ginn, Garrett, Hill, Byrd
Safe pick- Kelvin, Funchess, Ginn, Garrett, Hill, Brown
Well we have four RBs and three Spots. Stew, CAP, Fozzy and Wegher; Stew and CAP are locks so it comes down to the 3rd down guy in either Fozzy or Wegher. Wegher did not see much game action last year but the coaches did like what they saw with him Fozzy had game action but had negligible numbers.
MY PICKS- Stew, CAP, Wegher
Safe picks- Stew, CAP, Wegher
One spot 2 guys! Big Mike or Devon Johnson. Johnson is younger stronger faster, but Mike is seasoned and knows the offense. Mike puts up numbers but is in no was a True fullback he may be out of his job here has Johnson is very strong and his 1700 yard season shows he can carry the ball and coaches have noted his catching ability.
MY PICKS- Johnson
SAFE PICK- Mike Tolbert
Six guys for three spots! Olsen is a lock! Im also going to lock in Sandland because I don’t think you cut a draft pick no matter where they are drafted. So that leaves 4 guys for 1 spot! Ed Dickson, Marcus Lucas, Scott Simonson and Braxton Deaver.
Dickson has been here for years but as the PFF second worst blocking TE and only getting 127 yards and 2 scores last year he is far from safe, Simonson has Lucas are soft handed good blocking TEs who are quick but lets not forget both pro team castoffs. Deaver is such a wild card but has torn is ACL 2 times and has very little true TE experience.
MY PICK- Olsen, Sandland, Lucas
SAFE PICK- Olsen, Sandland, Simonson
Daryl Williams or Remmers?!! They took him to be more than a swing tackle and Remmers did not fare well in the big stage he would make for a good backup but Williams can be a stop gate RT after a year of learning the technical side of it! Last pre-season, Williams was actually the top-rated Tackle by PFF. Remmers is still valuable though as he adds quality depth at multiple positions across the line, including Center.
MY PICK- D-Will
SAFE PICK- D-WILL
There are other battles, to be sure, but these are the ones that I have my eye on. Competition makes for a better team, so I think the Panthers are in good shape. Follow me on twitter at @jp_tre18 and let the Camp Battles begin!
AKA The Pope