FanPost

PFF Provides Colorful Panthers Depth Chart

Grant Halverson

Pro Football Focus is rating every roster in the NFL. Our offensive tackle problems are well known, but they see our defensive backfield as our weakest position group. The grades are based on last seasons performance and don't project future development. Let's take a look (players over 30 years old in bold):

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I feel the comments deserve some critique...

Truthfully, Khaled and I had Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart the other way round. I think Newton’s short range passing is still too inaccurate to rate more than an average overall grade but he felt his running ability and deep passing outweighed that issue. Alternatively, Khaled thought I was being too generous to Stewart because of his injuries. I countered that the grade isn’t about injuries, it’s about likely production and, if not injured, Stewart nearly always delivers in that regard. In the end we decided both should be given the benefit of any doubt and everyone’s a winner

While Cam's accuracy still needs work, there is absolutely no way that he is "Average". I don't know what he needs to do to earn respect from this site. They don't even list him as a "top 101" player. They need to take a long look at how they choose to rate QB play if Newton is just an average QB to them.

The biggest question I’m expecting from Panther fans here is why Charles Johnson isn’t rated higher. Let me pre-empt that with my answer. In 2010 he was sensational (a +37.7grade) and was rightly rewarded with a huge contract. In the three seasons since then he’s graded a +29.7 combined – good but a long way off that career year. He’s a fine player, but not the exceptional one that was promised.

It isn't a bigger question than Newton, but it is a question. Especially when he uses the grading system and leaves out their own "Signature Stats" ratings (a superior system). Johnson finished 5th in their Pass Rush Productivity for 4-3 ends. He finished with a rating of 11.6 just behind the 4th place Greg Hardy who finished with a 12.1. That is High Quality.

All the corners have a similar M.O.. They’ve all flashed talent but failed to deliver on anything like a consistent basis. By way of example Melvin White had a good first game (vs. the Giants), got promoted and fell away not long after that. Of the veterans my guess is Josh Thomas is the one with most chance to come through. He’s had some poor games but nothing truly disastrous and could still come through.

This is the one that makes me question how much tape was watched. Being benched for horrible play is the epitome of disaster for a corner. That's what happened to Thomas last year and the majority of us are hoping that we never have to watch him get burned again.

I do think the chart is close to being accurate. We need our secondary to show that they will improve from playing behind a monster d-line. A premium has been placed on ball hawking and we will continue to be a top 5 D if the pressure continues. It will also be nice if White or someone else progresses into a "Good Starter".

What are your rankings, agreements/disagreements with this chart?

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