Make all the snide, side-mouthed jokes about Al Davis that you like -- but the Carolina Panthers are similarly size-obsessed. Dave Gettleman's belief since arriving in Charlotte has been to take large players who are naturally gifted, and working from there on annoyances like not being able to play football. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but his interest in small school, low experience players is at an all-time high in Carolina. He wants to see guys who have skills that can't be taught, and these five players could find themselves on the 53, provided they are easy to coach.
It's easy to name the draft picks, but those guys are making the roster regardless of what happens in Spartanburg -- at least for one year. These deep cuts are at need positions who could make names for themselves due to their size, natural talents, and ability.
Provided he can continue to grow as a route runner, Bryant is exactly what the offense needs. His 6'5, 225 pound frame makes him the ideal red zone target in jump ball situations, where he plays the role of large receiver -- rather than a tight end.
He spent the first part of the 2012 season on the practice squad, but clearly showed enough in closed-door sessions to earn a larger commitment. In December the Panthers signed Byrant to a two-year deal, keeping him in Charlotte until the end of the 2014 season.
It's a long road before he'll be a meaningful contributor, but there's a chance he could make enough of an impact to be named to the 53 man roster. There's a need for another large receiver, especially with Cam Newton's propensity to throw high in tight situations.
Gaydosh arrived on the radar quickly due to being selected 1st overall in the CFL draft. He was the workout warrior of their draft process, and while there's no real idea of where he's at in terms of ability, there is a need at under tackle for the future.
Carolina solved their immediate needs in the draft, but Dwan Edwards is a one-year rental at this point. The Panthers have to find a rotation of players at defensive tackle, and this opens a door for Gaydosh to become a long-term answer.
The best-case scenario would be for him to earn a practice squad position in 2013. This would allow for him to continue to work with the organization, without thrusting him into playing time too quickly. Much like Lamont Bryant last year, he could be in a similar position to push for a spot in 2014.
There's a need for a second tight end with Gary Barnidge off to Cleveland. Rosario is a player we haven't heard much about since arriving as a UDFA last year, but who Steve Smith has been open about extolling his virtues on local radio.
Smitty has talked about his circus catches, and work ethic on the practice field. Like Lamont Bryant, he's a large receiver rather than a true in-line tight end but for now the team lists him in the TE role.
It shouldn't be too hard to push Ben Hartsock as the team's backup, and more importantly could assist in mutliple tight end formations.
White had a late-round grade entering the draft, but fell out of it. The Panthers capitalized quickly, making him one of their priority UDFA signings. He fits the mold of large cornerbacks that have become a hallmark under Ron Rivera, and his 6'1 height will slot in well with the similarly large James Dockery and Josh Norman.
In a write up here on CSR, White was posited to either play cornerback or free safety, but it appears the organization are intent on keeping him at the CB spot for now. He represents an excellent match-up opportunity in the slot, where he can cover tight ends.
The issue is White's coverage, and that's a problem. He's suited to blitz, and be used in zone coverage -- but needs to take strides forward in order to better become a true cornerback. There's no point rushing him along, especially with Drayton Florence and D.J. Moore in the fold -- but there should be a practice squad spot waiting.
If there's one player you should hope catches on, it's Lester. On paper he's the perfect option to play at strong safety and compliment Charles Godfrey -- however, he showed worrying inconsistency at Alabama, which is a concern on a unit known for their lack of reliability.
Despite this, few thought Lester would be an undrafted free agent. His physical skills alone figured to make him a mid-round pick, especially after being named second-team All-SEC. However, depth safeties went far lower than expected in April -- causing him to fall out of the draft.
The Panthers obviously had a plan for Lester, as he was one of the team's first UDFA signings. In a perfect world he'd get a year to practice, but he may be added to the 53 given the dearth of talent at safety,
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