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Panthers release first ‘unofficial’ depth chart

The first depth chart of the preseason has been revealed.

NFL: Carolina Panthers OTA Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers have released the first ‘unofficial’ (please notice the word unofficial ... and read it as many times as you need to) depth chart of the 2021 season.

You can view the whole depth chart here, but I’ll give you the highlights below.

Quarterback

Sam Darnold is listed as the starter, as expected. Both Will Grier and P.J. Walker are listed as the No. 2 quarterback, but that’s probably illegal so they’ll need to change it before it becomes official. (I’m not 100 percent sure, but I don’t think you can have two No. 2 quarterbacks at the same time. I think you have to have one No. 2 and one No. 3 guy, but I’m not a rules expert so don’t quote me.)

Running back

Christian McCaffrey is the starter, as expected. Reggie Bonnafon is the No. 2 back, while Chuba Hubbard is listed at No. 3 on the depth chart. This is not really news.

Wide receiver

D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are the two starters, while David Moore and Terrace Marshall Jr. are the first two backups listed. Shi Smith and Keith Kirkwood are the No. 3 receivers, while Brandon Zylstra and Omar Bayless are the No. 4 receivers. Fun fact: Trenton Cannon is the No. 7 receiver on the depth chart.

Tight end

Dan Arnold and Ian Thomas are the two No. 1 tight ends, while Tommy Tremble and Colin Thompson are the two No. 2 guys. That’s probably all that matters because we’re likely only keeping three out of those four anyway.

Offensive line

The starting offensive line is Cameron Erving, Pat Elflein, Matt Paradis, John Miller and Taylor Moton, but the team has been moving guys around due to injuries in practice. Trent Scott and Dennis Daley have also been featured, and both are listed as part of the second unit, along with Deonte Brown. Brady Christensen is listed as the No. 2 right tackle.

Defensive line

There aren’t many surprises here. The first-team line is Brian Burns, Derrick Brown, Da’Quan Jones and Morgan Fox. The second-team line is Marquis Haynes, Davyion Nixon, Bravvion Roy and Yetur Gross-Matos.

Linebacker

Shaq Thompson, Jermaine Carter and Haason Reddick are the three starters, and Julian Stanford, Denzel Perryman and Frankie Luvu are the second unit.

Cornerback

Donte Jackson and Jaycee Horn are the starters, while Rashaan Melvin and A.J. Bouye are the second unit. Troy Pride Jr. is currently listed as the No. 4 corner, for what it’s worth.

Safety

Jeremy Chinn and Juston Burris are the starters, with Kenny Robinson and Sam Franklin backing them up.

Special teams

Trenton Cannon and Shi Smith are the two kick returners, David Moore and Shi Smith are the punt returners, J.J. Jansen is the first-team long snapper, Joseph Charlton is the punter and Joey Slye is the kicker.

What are your thoughts on the depth chart? (Remember: This depth chart is unofficial and doesn’t really mean anything. Coaches only do this because they have to. Don’t let this make you mad because it will change multiple times throughout the preseason.)