A few notes about the depth chart
- It’s unofficial. Teams are required by the league to publish these depth charts, and most of the time coaches just mail it in since it’s still early in the preseason and they don’t really know how they want to construct their team yet.
- The team is officially (or is it unofficially?) listed as a 3-4 defense. We’ve heard all offseason that the Panthers were going to run a ‘hybrid’ front, and it appears that it’s more of an actual change from a 4-3 to a 3-4 than a hybrid of the two.
- The first team front seven is Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe and Kawann Short on the defensive line, with Mario Addison, Luke Kuechly, Shaq Thompson and Bruce Irvin at linebacker.
- Donte Jackson and James Bradberry are the starting cornerbacks, with Eric Reid and Tre Boston starting at safety. Ross Cockrell is currently listed as the No. 2 option at cornerback and free safety, so that’s interesting.
- Cam Newton is still the No. 1 quarterback, which I’m sure doesn’t surprise you. Kyle Allen is currently listed as the No. 2 quarterback, followed by Will Grier and Taylor Heinicke. This doesn’t mean much, but if I had to guess right now I’d say that Heinicke will likely be the odd man out when the roster is cut to 53 players. I think the Panthers like Kyle Allen more, and they’re not going to cut Grier after they drafted him at No. 100 overall.
- D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are listed as the two No. 1 wide receivers. Chris Hogan and Jarius Wright are the No. 2 receivers, and Torrey Smith and Aldrick Robinson are the No. 3 receivers.
- Cameron Artis-Payne, Reggie Bonnafon and Jordan Scarlett are the three backup running backs to Christian McCaffrey. Interesting to see Bonnafon listed as the No. 3 running back, but as I’ve already said — this list is unofficial and is subject to change.
- The starting offensive line is — from left to right — Daryl Williams, Greg Van Roten, Matt Paradis, Trai Turner and Taylor Moton. Greg Little is currently the No. 2 option at left tackle, Dennis Daley is the backup right guard behind Turner, and Tyler Larsen is the second option at center behind Paradis.
- Graham Gano, Michael Palardy and J.J. Jansen are in their usual spots as The Specialists. Jaydon Mickens is currently the No. 1 option at punt returner with Terry Godwin backing him up. Artis-Payne and Mickens are the two kick returners.
- Again, this list is unofficial. There’s no need to freak out over it. Ron Rivera is required to put one of these depth charts out before the team’s first preseason game. This list will change at some point (Heck, some of these guys probably won’t even make the team!) so don’t get too worked up over it.
With that being said, what do you think of the depth chart? Is it what you expected, or is it chock full of surprises that you can’t wait to complain about? Share your thoughts with us, Panthers fans!