2016 Panthers 53 Man Roster Set | What Did I Get Right & Wrong

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OFFENSE (25)

Quarterback (3)

Cam Newton

Derek Anderson

Joe Webb

*As expected Joe Webb has remained on the roster. 

Tight End (3)

Greg Olsen

Ed Dickson

Scott Simonson

Marcus Lucas <- WRONG

*I was partly right & wrong. As quoted below from my final 53 man roster prediction I predicted they would keep 4 tight ends with Lucas being the 4th. This is where I was wrong. I also predicted they would cut Sandland but also stated I believed if they did not keep Lucas then they would only go with 3 tight ends. The Panthers decided to only go with three Tight Ends and cut both Lucas & Sandland. 

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.

Wide Receiver (6)

Kelvin Benjamin

Devin Funchess

Ted Ginn

Philly Brown

Damiere Byrd

Brenton Bersin

*Nailed my prediction here. It seemed fairly obvious especially after Norwood got hurt and they were able to use IR for him after the Steelers game and after his bad performance against the Patriots that this would be our receivers going into the year. Especially after Byrd’s impressive off-season and pre-season.

Running Back (3)

Jonathan Stewart

Fozzy Whittaker

Cameron Artis-Payne

Brandon Wegher  <- WRONG

*This was one I was wrong that I really hated being wrong at. The Panthers elected to keep 7 linebackers which feels like overkill at the position. Instead of keeping a 4th running back. While Wegher finally got a fairly good amount of snaps in the final pre-season game against the Steelers, I felt he did not get a fair look going into final cuts even with that.

In 2014 the Panthers a run first offensive based team lost all their top running backs to injury and were forced to scramble at the position and we know how that season turned out. Given Stew’s injury history you would figure they would want to stay deep there. 

I will probably write a individual piece about this later especially since they elected to keep Jalen Scoot Simmons on the practice squad over Wegher and cut him completely. There is still the chance if Wegher has not attached himself to another team that this could all change if something happens the middle of the season.

We all know players sometimes play a back and forth game with teams. Sometimes a player is cut and weeks later brought back. If Wegher has not stuck somewhere else then I am not ruling out the chances of his possible return throughout the season.

Full Back (1)

Mike Tolbert

Offensive Line (9)

Michael Oher

Mike Remmers

Daryl Williams

Trai Turner

Andrew Norwell

Ryan Kalil

Chris Scott <- WRONG

Tyler Larsen <- Made roster that I did not predict

Gino Gradkowski

Donald Hawkins <- Made roster that I did not predict

*Another prediction I was partly right & wrong. I stated that I would not be surprised to see Hawkins on the roster as seen quoted below from my final 53 prediction. I felt they could roll the dice with 8 offensive lineman. The Panthers final 53 had 9 offensive lineman with Hawkins included. 

*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.

I also had Chris Scott predicted on the roster but due to being suspended for 4 games to start the year due to a substance abuse issue he will not be on the roster to begin the year. Instead the Panthers went with G Tyler Larsen to finish the offensive lineman. No one could have predicted Scott being suspended to start the year unless reported prior.

Unless the Panthers are completely turned off by Scott’s suspension and decide to let him walk or Larsen see’s snaps and does well during his absents I expect Scott to be back on the roster in his place after those 4 games are up.

Defense (25)

Defensive Line (9)

Kony Ealy

Charles Johnson

Star Lotulelei

Kawann Short

Vernon Butler

Paul Soliai

Mario Addison

Lavar Edwards < – Made roster that I did not predict

Robert Thomas <- WRONG

Ryan Delaire

*I was wrong with my final prediction here but did say in a earlier prediction that if they did keep 5 defensive ends then I was leaning Wes Horton.

If we keep 5 defensive ends I will give the nod to Horton who I think will win the job mainly due to game experience. Which isn’t saying much about a guy who has been cut twice in the last year.

I also stated in my final 53 prediction recently that I expected them to at some point make a move on a DE. They did just that after waivers were made official. The Panthers claimed DE Lavar Edwards from the Bills. Wes made the initial cuts but soon after found himself cut to make room for the newly claimed Edwards.

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.

Another prediction I was wrong and right on at the same time in a round about way.

Linebacker (7)

Thomas Davis

Luke Kuechly

Shaq Thompson

AJ Klein

David Mayo

Jeremy Cash

Jared Norris <- Made roster that I did not predict

*I got the majority of this prediction right. I did not expect them to keep 7 linebackers to start the year. In truth I don’t expect this to last long into the year either. If an extra safety or corner is needed like Sanchez. I expect Norris to be the first in line to be cut and moved to the practice squad.

Corner (5)

Bene Benwikere

James Bradberry

Daryl Worley

Zack Sanchez <- WRONG

Robert McClain

Teddy Williams <-Made roster that I did not predict

*This was the most shocking prediction I got wrong. I did not expect Gettleman to cut one of his 3 rookie corners he drafted. Especially Sanchez who I didn’t think had as bad of a pre-season as some of his fellow rookies. 

It’s even more surprising that Teddy Williams made the roster over him. I didn’t think Teddy had a particularly good pre-season and for someone who is suppose to be a “Special Teams Ace” he sure garners a lot of flags.

I can not see Sanchez being on the practice squad for long. I would expect him to be called back up at some point early on in this season.

Safety (4)

Kurt Coleman

Tre Boston

Dean Marlowe

Colin Jones

*Nailed the safeties and as predicted the Stevie Brown project was more of a fill in for the final pre-season game then a solution.

Special Teams (3)

Graham Gano

Andy Lee

JJ Jansen

*Was not hard to nail this one.

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Practice Squad (10)

Kevin Norwood <- WRONG

Jalen Scoot Simmons <- Made PS I did not predict

Larry Webster <- Made PS I did not predict

Marcus Ball <- Made PS I did not predict

Zack Sanchez <- Made PS I did not predict

Travell Dixon

Keyarris Garrett

Brian Blechen

Arthur Miley <-WRONG

Beau Sandland

Lou Young < – WRONG

Eric Crume

Donald Hawkins or Lucas or Bersin (if Hawkins makes the roster) <-WRONG

David Yankey

*I missed 4 of my practice squad predictions. Larry Webster made the practice squad instead of Arthur Miley. Zack Sanchez took Lou Youngs spot after being surprisingly cut from the 53 in favor of Teddy Williams. 

I had Marcus Ball on one of my earlier predictions but took him off for my final prediction to make room for other guys but he ultimately made it. Then the second biggest practice squad miss was them deciding to keep Jalen Scoot Simmons over Wegher after Wegher got cut. I predicted Wegher to the roster but even if he didn’t make the roster I did not think they would not keep him on the practice squad. So this was a surprise.

I had originally predicted Hawkins onto the practice squad but they decided to keep 9 offensive lineman so he ended up on the 53.

So I missed 4 practice squad and 5 of my 53 man roster predictions. Not bad considering how hard it is to guess the lower roster guys. I am glad to see at least 2 of the 3 I was pulling for made the roster with Byrd & Cash.

Hated to see Wegher get completely released. Crossing my fingers it won’t be the last we see of him in a Panthers uniform as time goes on.

This is your 2016 Carolina Panthers! On to Denver Thursday to start the pursuit of 51 for 51. Leave me your thoughts below in the comments and as always KEEP POUNDING!

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