Carolina Panthers Suddenly Face A Surplus Of Talent At The Wide Receiver Position

After Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL in 2015 training camp, many experts believed that the Carolina Panthers would have trouble scoring due to the lack of depth at the wide receiver position. Sure, Ted Ginn Jr. was returning, but there was little experience at the position on the rest of the roster.

Not only did the Panthers survive without Benjamin, but the team went on to lead the NFL in scoring and made it to Super Bowl 51. A number of different players stepped up and played big roles on the outside for quarterback Cam Newton and it's led to an interesting predicament for the Panthers entering 2016 training camp.

Benjamin, Devin Funchess and Ted Ginn Jr. are locks which means there will likely only be two, possibly three, more receiver spots up for grabs entering camp. Philly Brown is expected to have an inside edge on one of them which leaves Brenton Bersin, Stephen Hill, Kevin Norwood, Damiere Byrd and Keyarris Garrett to battle for the last spot or two.

Bersin has proven to be a solid route runner and reliable pass catcher during his two seasons in the NFL, but he doesn't offer the same kind of explosiveness that some the of the other options possess. Bersin also has struggled with muffing punts.

The Panthers traded for Norwood prior to the 2015 season as the team looked to add more depth after the injuries to Benjamin and Hill. Norwood never recorded a stat as he was inactive for nearly every game.

Byrd's strengths are his speed and return ability, but he's small at 5-foot-9 and Ginn already has a handle on the slot position. Byrd did have a strong minicamp, but it seems unlikely that he'll make the 53-man roster.

Garrett is an interesting prospect that the Panthers signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tulsa following the 2016 NFL Draft. He stands 6-foot-4 and led college football in receiving yards in 2015. Garrett possesses a solid skill set, but seems to be destined for the practice squad at this point.

Lastly, the Panthers' coaching staff absolutely loves Stephen Hill. The former first-round pick out of Georgia Tech offers size at 6-foot-4, speed and more experience than the rest of the receivers on the bubble. The one knock on Hill has been his issues with drops, but reports out of Charlotte claim that he's made major strides on that issue.

There's absolutely zero chance that the Panthers will be able to keep all five receivers on the roster bubble which means a good player or two are going to be cut before the final 53-man roster is announced. As of now, my best guess would be that the Panthers will take Benjamin, Funchess, Ginn, Brown and Hill into the season as their five wide receivers, but a lot can change in training camp.

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