I had hoped to write some pieces prior to final pre-season game about other players breaking down some film like I did in with Damiere Byrd in Byrd is the word piece I typed up last week.
Alas things in my personal life took priority and I had no time to cut up film from the first 3 Pre-Season games this week and turn into gifs of those players. Being that this is a fan opinion blog and not something I am paid for sometimes football has to take a back seat to things at home.
I did however watch the games a few times and formed some opinion after 3 games that I can share with my final roster cut prediction of 2016 before the Panthers take the field in their final Pre-Season game of 2016 in their annual match up with the Steelers tonight.
*No change here, I still think he is pretty safe but I am still keeping an eye on Webb’s spot as time goes on.
Tight End (4)
*Lucas has emerged as my favorite to win the spot after Deaver was surprisingly on the first wave of cuts. Sandland got his first pass target of the pre-season and proceeded to drop it. Where Lucas was able to haul in two touchdowns late in the game against the Patriots.
Sandland has not had a good pre-season. Any time I see him lead blocking out of the backfield or pass blocking he is just getting overwhelmed. Which has hindered guys like Wegher because he as been lead blocking for them almost all pre-season. I am almost fully convinced he will be the first draft pick cut by Gettleman.
In truth I don’t think Lucas has any competition for that 4th spot. If they don’t keep Lucas I believe they will only keep 3 tight ends on the roster while placing both Lucas and Sandland on the practice squad. Neither Sandland or Lucas are good blockers but Lucas at least has decent route running and hands.
Biggest surprise of the first wave of cuts was the Panthers keeping the project Rugby player TE Eric Wallace over Deavers. Wallace might be your new Foucault project since they decided to part ways with Foucault in the first set of cuts. They may decide to develop him for a year on the practice squad if they keep 4 tight ends my only question who does he nudge out for that spot if they do?
Wide Receiver (6)
*No change here. I think all the momentum Norwood had built up to push Bersin for a spot ended last week after both had a bad game. I still believe Byrd is your 5th option at wide receiver mainly due to his kick-off return abilities and the ability to back Ginn up at punt return. Ginn finally seen playing time as the punt returner this pre-season against New England.
Bersin’s good performance against Baltimore coupled with his chemistry with Cam and playing experience I believe win out the 6th spot but if they only keep 5 I expect Bersin to be practice squad bound.
Garrett is another one I expect to see to the practice squad. He has shown some flashes as of late and I believe they like what they see of his potential. He has a lot of potential to develop into a good receiver for this team.
Running Back (4)
*No change here. Still not a Fozzy fan or a fan of the reps Wegher is getting. After reading some stuff this week and recent comments from Gettleman. I am convinced Wegher will be sticking around again. He has lead the team in special teams plays and was recently mentioned by Gettleman as one of his surprising players.
Despite the little amount of reps or allowing him playing time behind a better offensive line and unfair amount of bad looks he has gotten this off-season which Ron has admitted as much about his reps. I agree with the masses that his special teams play and potential as a back will save his spot on the roster.
Wegher was one of the players I was going to highlight due to how unfair his reps have been this off-season. Even in the New England game where CAP finally seen his most reps and had a good game but Wegher only seen 4th quarter snaps. If he somehow get’s cut I may write that piece anyways.
Full Back (1)
Offensive Line (8)
*No change here. I still think they can store Hawkins and if needed call him up from the practice squad but I would not be surprised to see Hawkins here in favor of a tight end or wide receiver.
Defensive Line (9)
*They finally moved Rakim Cox to IR after his long pre-season absents as expected. Crume didn’t have the best of games this past week. I keep reading a lot of rumblings about Robert Thomas pushing Kyle Love for the last roster spot.
Defensive Ends still hasn’t shown enough for me to change my mind on anything. In truth I think this final spot will eventually be filled by a defensive end not yet on this roster at some point this year.
For now I give it to Robert Thomas instead of Love given they may wanna go younger if they keep 5 defensive tackles and plus there is not enough room for Crume & Thomas on the practice squad.
*No changes here. Cash is such a quickly improved player I find it doubtful they would expose him to waivers for Jacobs. He played special teams snaps and defensive snaps with the 2nd unit while Jacobs played with the 3rd. Feels like this spot is pretty much decided at this point.
*No changes here as well. Still like Young but he hasn’t had a great pre-season. So I expect him to head back to the practice squad.
*No changes here. Despite adding another safety with Stevie Brown due to Marlowe still being out hurt. I think Stevie is more of a stop gap just in case Marlowe can’t go week 1. I am not a fan of the signing of a player who hasn’t played a snap since 2014.
This just feels like a temporary move and the cheapest move between signing Whitner and Major Wright (who they also worked out prior to this signing) to just get by the final pre-season game. I don’t think Stevie last’s past final cuts.
Special Teams (3)
Practice Squad (10)
Donald Hawkins or Lucas or Bersin (if Hawkins makes the roster)
*Foucault being on the first wave of cuts made this easier to sort out. If Hawkins makes the roster I expect cuts elsewhere which I predict will probably be Tight End or Receiver. My guesses would be Lucas would be practice squad bound or Bersin. Would not be shocked to see Eric Wallace or Marcus Ball here though.
Those are my predictions after two pre-season games. Final cuts are right around the corner so tell me what did you think of my predictions? What would you change? Leave me your thoughts below in the comments and as always KEEP POUNDING!