Predicting Some Panther Depth Chart Changes

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I was looking at the Panthers current depth chart posted at Panthers.com and I think it needs some updating. In fact I'm sure it does so here are the changes I'm predicting.

First for the easy one. FB Mike Zordich is listed at the #2 FB but I'm sure he will be moved to IR soon. The fact Zordich is still listed was my first clue the chart really is out of date. Now for the more difficult changes.

LG Chris Scott will jump Tori Mobley and possibly Hayworth Hicks. I'm not saying any of those three will make the 53 though. Likewise Justin Wells moves up to #2 RT with the probably season long loss of Bruce Campbell. If Garrett Chisholm can play at all he will never get a better chance to prove himself over the next two weeks.

WR Steve Smith Armanti Edwards David Gettis Brenton Bersin
LT Jordan Gross Nate Chandler Garrett Chisolm
LG Amini Silatolu Hayworth Hicks Tori Mobley Chris Scott
C Ryan Kalil Jeff Byers Brian Folkerts
RG Garry Williams Edmund Kugbila Bruce Campbell Patrick Brown
RT Byron Bell Bruce Campbell Justin Wells
TE Greg Olsen Ben Hartsock Richie Brockel Brandon Williams
WR Brandon LaFell Domenik Hixon Ted Ginn Kealoha Pilares
QB Cam Newton Derek Anderson Jimmy Clausen Colby Cameron
FB Mike Tolbert Michael Zordich
RB DeAngelo Williams Jonathan Stewart Kenjon Barner Armond Smith

I think WR David Gettis should be listed at #2 behind LaFell with Ginn moving over to the other side #3 behind Smitty. At 6'3" 220 lbs Gettis is a big physical receiver more in the mold of LaFell than any of the other WR on the roster.

If you think about formation as well, and you want to move Smitty to the slot then Gettis is more suited to play the outside. Edwards on the other hand is better suited in the slot when Smitty is playing the outside. Hixon should instead be #4 behind even Pilares until he can get on the practice field.

RB Tauren Poole surpasses Armond Smith for #4, if not higher. I'm not saying Barner will be cut, hardly. Just that Poole has looked good in there, slightly better than Smith IMO.

Turning to the defense, let's start with the closest to the top and work our way down.

At DT I see Sione Fua moving over to #2 NT. I realize he is a popular target for ridicule around here but he has played better this preseason. Plus he seems better suited for the NT spot versus the DT. But flame away...;)

LDE Charles Johnson Frank Alexander Craig Roh
DT Dwan Edwards Kawann Short Sione Fua
NT Star Lotulelei Colin Cole Frank Kearse Casey Walker
RDE Greg Hardy Mario Addison Wes Horton Louis Nzegwu
SLB Thomas Davis A.J. Klein Jason Williams
MLB Luke Kuechly Chase Blackburn Ben Jacobs Ryan Rau
WLB Jon Beason Jordan Senn Doug Hogue
LCB Drayton Florence Josh Thomas James Dockery Nick Hixson
RCB Captain Munnerlyn Josh Norman D.J. Moore Melvin White
SS Mike Mitchell D.J. Campbell Robert Lester Anderson Russell
FS Charles Godfrey Haruki Nakamura Colin Jones Ricardo Silva

The Panthers staff may disagree with me on this one but I really liked the look of Wes Horton (R, 6'5" 265 lbs) rushing the passer. He is currently listed at #3 behind Mario Addison (3, 6'3" 260 lbs) who hasn't looked bad but he hasn't made the plays Horton has.

Last but not the least controversial is CB Josh Norman getting the starting nod over Captain Munnerlyn when in the base 4-3 package. Norman has a nose for the ball and this defense needs that. He hasn't been taking the kinds of risks we saw early last season. This move doesn't impact the Panthers remaining schemes either given Norman plays the outside now when he subs in on the nickel package.

Special Teams

I'm not predicting any changes here as I think Ginn will end up our return specialist with the emergence of Gettis and Edwards.

K Graham Gano Morgan Lineberry
P Brad Nortman Jordan Gay
KO Graham Gano Jordan Gay
H Brad Nortman Jordan Gay
PR Ted Ginn Joe Adams Armanti Edwards
KR Ted Ginn Kealoha Pilares Kenjon Barner Armond Smith
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