Carolina Panthers depth chart: Predicting the final 53

Elsa

First cuts are happening today, and I'm taking a shot at predicting the Panthers final depth chart.

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.

Offense

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

Defense

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

Special Teams

KR Ted Ginn/ Kenjon Barner

PR Ted Ginn/ Joe Adams

LS (1) J.J. Jansen

K (1) Graham Gano

P (1) Brad Nortman

Other

PUP: Jonathan Stewart

PS: Brenton Bersin/ Brian Folkerts/ Wes Horton/ Robert Lester/ Tori Mobley/ Craig Roh/ Casey Walker/ Melvin White

Possible Swings

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.

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