Today the Carolina Panthers cut down to 75 players, then to 53 on Friday. The roughest cuts will happen at the end of the week, so what better time to try and predict the final depth chart.
The offensive line is better with Travelle Wharton in the fold, and can be upgraded from 'raging dumpster fire' to simply 'flaming dumpster fire'. It was a great move, all jokes aside -- provided Wharton can play at a high level after returning from injury.
QB (2) Cam Newton/ Derek Anderson
RB (3) DeAngelo Williams/ Kenjon Barner/ Tauren Poole
FB (2) Mike Tolbert/ Richie Brockel
TE (3) Greg Olsen/ Ben Hartsock/ Brandon Williams
WR (6) Steve Smith/ Brandon LaFell/ David Gettis/ Armanti Edwards/ Ted Ginn/ Joe Adams
OT (4) Jordan Gross/ Byron Bell/ Garry Williams/ Nate Chandler
OG (4) Travelle Wharton/ Amini Silatolu/ Chris Scott/ Edmund Kugbila
C (2) Ryan Kalil/ Jeff Byers
DE (4) Charles Johnson/ Greg Hardy/ Frank Alexander/ Mario Addison
DT (4) Star Lotulelei/ Kawann Short/ Dwan Edwards/ Colin Cole
ROLB (2) Jon Beason/ Jordan Senn
MLB (2) Luke Kuechly/ Chase Blackburn
LOLB (2) Thomas Davis/ A.J. Klein
CB (5) Drayton Florence/ Josh Norman/ Captain Munnerlyn/ Josh Thomas/ D.J. Moore
SS (2) Mike Mitchell/ D.J. Campbell
FS (3) Charles Godfrey/ Haruki Nakamura/ Colin Jones
KR Ted Ginn/ Kenjon Barner
PR Ted Ginn/ Joe Adams
LS (1) J.J. Jansen
K (1) Graham Gano
P (1) Brad Nortman
PUP: Jonathan Stewart
PS: Brenton Bersin/ Brian Folkerts/ Wes Horton/ Robert Lester/ Tori Mobley/ Craig Roh/ Casey Walker/ Melvin White
Everything depends on how Domenik Hixon looks this week at wide receiver. A stellar game will win him a spot, an average one makes him a cut. It's hard to see how WR will look with Hixon in the lineup. It's not as simple as switching him out for Joe Adams, who I believe the team likes a lot more than fans do.
There's a chance Carolina keep seven receivers to start the season, potentially dropping one when Jonathan Stewart can be activated from the PUP. Richie Brockel and Ben Hartsock are also potential cuts.
Keeping Brandon Williams on the 53 was a struggle. He's not ready for the NFL, but his upside is too valuable to place on the practice squad and have him poached by an opportunistic team in need of TE help (there are a lot). There's a chance the Panthers could gamble here, and put on on the PS.
Finally there's Jimmy Clausen -- the cut I struggled with the most. Derek Anderson is playing terribly, but Jimmy didn't do enough against Baltimore to win the job outright. He's a much better quarterback this year, and it wouldn't surprise me for a second if he ends up in New Orleans to scout the Panthers for the Saints, and give them a better third-string QB than they have now.