When I was younger and played Madden football over the years it was quiet difficult building a 53 man roster, who needed that many players? I've got my starters, some depth, and ten of the cheapest guys in free agency. Aw, if only football could really be as easy as Madden.
Panther fans can be excited for a hard fought training camp and pre-season with more players than most would believe fighting for a roster spot. This season cutting the Carolina Panthers roster down from 90 players to a measly 53 is extremely difficult. Despite having a top 10 defense in yardage that season the offense is much easier unit to predict. This roster doesn't predict any future acquisitions which are very possible for kicker, offensive line, tight end, and all defensive positions. Enough with the chatter, here is my prediction of the final 53 -
Special Teams - 3 players
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce the first man to make the Carolina Panthers' NFL Roster for the 2013 Season....Number 44, our beloved long snapper, Mr. JJ Jansen!
Offense - 25 players
QB- Cam, Anderson & Jimmy Clausen
RB- Williams, Stewart & Barner
TE- Olsen, Hartsock & Brockel
OT- Gross, Bell, Campbell & Garry Williams
G- Silatolu, Hangartner & Kugbila
C- Kalil & Jeff Byers
WR- Smith, Lafell, Gettis, Ginn, Edwards & Hixon
The offensive line and wide receiver depth is more difficult to predict than one would think. It's hard not keeping a younger player on the roster to develop other than Campbell and its possible would could bring someone else in, but the coaching staff seems relatively content moving forward with the offensive line as it is. Wide receiver is very tough to predict and despite lacking an heir to Steve, we have a lot of quality depth. Hixon may lose his spot due to an injury I feel like, not Gettis, and somehow I do see Edwards fighting to gain a spot over both Pilares and last years 4th rounder Joe Adams. I'd like to see one of our younger and potential filled receivers (or tight ends) take a spot from one of these six, but it's hard to predict who will make that jump.
Defense - 25 players
DE- Johnson, Hardy, Alexander & Addison
DT- Star!!!(still can't believe he fell to us), Short, Edwards, Colin & Kearse
LB- The Three Headed Monster - Luke, Beast & TD! Blackburn, Klein & Senn
CB- Norman, Thomas, Dockery, Moore & Munnerlyn
S- Godfrey, Campbell, Mitchell, Nakamura & Jones
It's impossible to predict who will be cut between Florence, Moore, Mitchell, Nakamura and Jones. I really struggled with that one. Florence would be a welcome'd vet and could actually be the best corner, but it seems like with our soft cover 3 that we so regularly play that the coaches are going to throw a bunch of young and physical corners out there then wait and see who can step up. I guess that means Florence some how get's cut. I really don't see any other CB being cut which means one of the bottom three safeties could go instead. I'd love to see White or Lester step up over all four of them and make an impact, but both are likely for the practice squad.
Difficult Cuts / Players who could steal a spot -
Drayton Florence, Robert Lester, Melvin White, Jason Williams, Doug Hogue & Sione Fua
Nelson Rosario, Joe Adams, Nate Chandler, Kealoha Pilares, Tauren Poole, Armond Smith and finally did we already cut Lamont Bryant?
And that concludes my take on the final 53.