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Top 5 Surprises in Panthers 1st Depth Chart

We have a couple new starters per the Panthers first depth chart. Here's my five biggest surprises of the Panthers first depth chart released earlier today.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

In no particular order:

1. Corey 'Philly' Brown at #2 WR

Brown has had a solid camp, solid enough to pass Jerricho Cotchery on the depth chart. He has nice hands and the speed to be a threat down the field, something Cam Newton needed sorely down the stretch last season. Brown will get the chance to run all the routes and prove he is ready for the #2 work load. In the end though his time at #2 may be short lived.

2. Devin Funchess at #3 WR

Sometimes the rookie steps right into a starting spot (like Kelvin Benjamin last season) and sometimes they don't. Funchess is apparently in the latter group. The rookie hasn't had a bad camp, he just has some good players in front of him. Plus I expect to see him rise up this chart pretty quick. By the time week 1 rolls around he might be the #2. Even if he is not listed that high I expect him to see the field anyway. He'll be in the rotation at some point.

3. Frank Alexander at RDE

I guess I'm not surprised Big Frank is the early leader for this spot, more elated I think. I love that he has picked up where he left off last preseason. He could be a huge contributor this season and help us forget that guy who left. I thinking having a 3 down DE in that spot is key to what DC Sean McDermott wants to do with his defense. He wants

4. AJ Klein at SLB

What I said about Devin Funchess also applies to LB Shaq Thompson. Thompson has a lot to learn to earn this spot and he has been limited in camp so he is essentially behind. Klein steps right in after recovering from an ankle injury that ended his 2014 season after 14 games. Klein is a work horse and solid option at SLB. Thompson brings a different game and time will only tell that the Panthers truly have in store for Thompson.

5. Wes Horton at #2 LDE

It would appear Horton is the first man out of the competition for RDE as he is listed only on the left side now. Maybe his game matches up more with what the Panthers want the LDE to do? Regardless the reason his snap count will drop dramatically this season.

Obviously things are subject to change in short order. I sometimes feel coaching staffs use this first depth chart to send messages to certain players but I don't know that for fact. Still a lot can change and it will change.

What was your biggest surprise on this depth chart Panther fans?