While the phrase 'the first cut is the deepest' may have been applicable in Cat Stevens' life (back when he was still Cat Stevens), in the NFL the first cut isn't really as difficult. It's an unfortunate part of the business that year in, year out we see a summer of amazing potential, juxtaposed with dreams getting crushed on a regular basis. For players who get jettisoned in the early cuts the chance for them to stick with an NFL roster long-term is incredibly thin. That being said, it's a business, and everyone knows what they're getting themselves into.
Jaxon has been doing an excellent job predicting his final 53 man roster, so I'll come at this from the other end and predict the round of cuts. On August 28th teams need to reduce thei roster from 90 to 80 players, the first of the two huge cuts-- the second happens on September 2nd when this needs to go from 80 players to the final 53.
The players on this list are those who either didn't stand out in camp this week, or who wee clearly not being used in drills by the coaching staff. There is a lot of rotation going on in Spartanburg, but it's easy to see who isn't getting opportunities. There will be opportunities for players to step up and avoid the first cut, but it will take a lot of hard work, and a solid performance in the first preseason game.
1. Jeff Otah, OT
Easiest cut out of the way first. This could happen in the next few days with the Panthers deciding to fill his roster spot early, but for now he's on the roster, and easy for the Panthers to jettison.
More after the jump
2. Hubert Anyiam, WR
Thus far he's been hardly used in drills, and missed a day due to injury. With a glut of talent at WR it's hard to imagine he'll make it through the first cuts.
3. Greg Smith, TE
4. Brenton Bersin, WR
The local boy and Wofford grad makes for great human interest stories, but it's hard to imagine he'll make it though the first round without a huge few weeks. The emergence of so many WRs has caused a logjam at the position.
5. David Nixon, LB
6. Josh Thomas, CB
There were times where Thomas looked okay, but there is so much drafted depth in front of him that it's hard to imagine he'll make it through.
7. Nick Harris, P
8. Lyndon Rowells, RB
Rowells has an eye for the running game, and made several good plays at camp. However, there is no position with more talent on the Panthers than running back, and with Josh Vaughan having a history here, and Tauren Poole shining it's hard to see him making it though the first cuts.
9. Jonathan Nelson, S
10. Nelson Rosario, TE
There were high expectations for the uber-athletic, TE/WR hybrid, but thus far we haven't seen anything from him. Rosario has impressive size and speed, but WR Lamont Bryant is exactly the same size, and has been making plays in Spartanburg.
So there we have an early look at the first round of cuts. Obviously with almost a month before the decision a lot could change, but as it stand these are the most likely candidates. Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments.