Darin Gantt takes a thorough look at the impact of the Panthers roster cut down decisions in his latest post on the Observer. First there is the composition of the 53 man roster as far as number drafted by the team:
Not much use counting other rosters to see how it compares until they stabilize in a few days, but at the moment, 35 of the 53 player coming from your own drafts is fairly impressive, and has to be fairly high on the charts.
Like Gantt I don't know the official numbers but having 2/3 if your roster filled by draft picks has to be near the top. Now the trick is getting this home grown roster to perform well enough to make the playoffs.One guy I'm very happy made the roster is WR David Gettis:
The question you have to ask yourself is this: When you sign a veteran, are you prepared to cut WR David Gettis to make room for him? They probably aren't.
I think Gantt is right, the Panthers are going into the season with the current depth at WR. Though Gettis got off to a slow start he's grown dramatically throughout the preseason. He's shown an ability to get open, catch the ball and turn it up field. As much as I like Trent Guy he is more likely to be claimed off the practice squad than Guy...more after the jump...
So do you think OL Kirk Barton regrets not reporting to the Panthers?
Wonder how OT Kirk Barton's feeling right about now? He didn't want to come here for a week when the Panthers claimed him off waivers. So instead, they signed former Saints practice squader Tim Duckworth as a temporary place-holder.
All Duckworth did was make the 53. Now, he might not last there, but all you hear guys say is that they want an opportunity, and Duckworth made the most of his.
Duckworth may not stick around long but you can bet he's going to get an opportunity. That's Saints experience won't hurt either. I agree there is a good chance the Panthers look long and hard at OL cuts around the league since they usually keep 9 o-linemen. I bet Barton holds some regrets at some point regardless of how it goes for Duckworth.
Gantt then goes on the guess which eight players will be inactive for the opener, certainly a good question:
Otah, probably for one. And Tony Pike's the third QB. If RB Tyrell Sutton's shoulder's not ready, he might sit but if he's well you need him. After that, I'd guess you scratch Gettis, DTs Nick Hayden and Andre Neblett (they generally go into games with seven DL), and either LB Eric Norwood or Nic Harris, depending on which one you want running down kicks.
That's seven, so who would #8?
Then it gets tricky.
Maybe it's WR Armanti Edwards, unless he's returning punts. It's hard to deactivate a defensive back, since they only have eight and a few of them are a little gimpy right now. Sitting both Harris and Norwood leaves you with just Jamar Williams and Jordan Senn in reserve at LB.
This is where keeping that extra kicker really sticks them, and why Todd Carter better blast everything out of the end zone to justify his roster spot.
That's a good guess for the first 7 that I can't improve on. I'm thinking Edwards is the 8th since I'm expecting Munnerlyn to return punts to start the season. I'm sure Hayden won't like it, he's the main one with game experience on that list. Lost in all the focus on the offense is the fact special teams hasn't exactly proven they are improved from last season risky operation.
Finally he gives a guess at who the Panthers will try to stash on the practice squad.
Of the guys they cut, you'd guess that WR Trent Guy, FB Rashawn Jackson, LB Andre Ware and CB R.J. Stanford would come back on the practice squad. Probably another CB and two OLs from somewhere else as well. Given Edwards' arm, they may not see the need to add a fourth QB, and could look for some more LB depth.
I imagine Nic Harris might end up there if the Panthers do sign an o-linemen, or Duckworth. But I think the Panthers prefer 9 o-linemen hence my prediction about Harris.
I'm still also adjusting to the loss of G Duke Robinson. Though he was a favorite whipping boy for this blog we still had high hopes for him getting it together and lining up next to Otah. I guess we are going to see how good our running game and RB's really are. Normally you would think a player like Robinson getting a year off to mature would be a good thing but in his case it thinks it bad. The chances are high that instead of getting in shape he gets fat and flushes out next TC. I think the next draft an offensive linemen is going to be high on the list; anyone missing Keydrick Vincent yet?