10 Offensive Players on Bubble to Make/Miss Panthers Roster

These players are riding the line to make or miss the Carolina Panthers' 53-man roster. How likely is each to earn a spot?
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Training camp is officially under way for the Carolina Panthers. Camp breeds a lot of competition none more interesting than position battles. There are undoubtedly a few players locked into their roles but Carolina is a young team with a lot of positions up for grabs on the depth chart. Today, we will look at ten players on the offensive side of the ball and predict whether or not they will be on the roster for Week 1.

QB Will Grier

Will Grier was a third-round draft pick from West Virginia back in 2019. He saw the field in two games his rookie season but didn't play a snap last year. The fact that P.J. Walker started when Teddy Bridgewater missed a game is telling. Head coach Matt Rhule must have viewed Walker as a more capable starter than Grier at that point. This doesn't necessarily mean that Grier can't win the backup job this season, however. Grier is a talented passer with average athleticism. He will have to have a strong camp and solid preseason to leapfrog the more athletic Walker on the depth chart.

Makes the roster? Yes.

RB Trenton Cannon

Trenton Cannon played in a total of 14 games last season on a team that was without star running back Christian McCaffrey for 13 out of 16 games. Cannon is an undersized back at just 5-foot-11, 185-pounds. He is quick and can make a difference on special teams, however. He proved that last year when he returned a kickoff for 98 yards against the eventual Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. It's going to be tough for Cannon to get any playing time at RB this season with a healthy CMC and rookie Chuba Hubbard on the roster. In order for Cannon to make an impact he will have to ball out on special teams throughout camp.

Makes the roster? No. 

RB Reggie Bonnafon

Reggie Bonnafon had a tremendous opportunity to get some work in the regular season coming in as a change of pace back with Mike Davis starting. Unfortunately, he was unable to take advantage of this role because of an ankle injury he suffered in October against the Cardinals. He has shown that he certainly has the talent to be an effective running back in the NFL when healthy. He rushed for 69 yards on 12 carries and hauled in two receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown as Davis' backup last year. 

Makes the roster? Yes.

WR Brandon Zylstra

Brandon Zylstra enters camp with some stiff competition. Not only does Carolina have certified studs like DJ Moore and Robby Anderson on the roster. But they brought in two rookies Terrace Marshall Jr. and Shi Smith to compete. Add in free-agent addition David Moore and the writing is on the wall for Zylstra. Zylstra's only real chance to make the roster is special teams. The 28-year-old receiver will have to perform exceptionally well in preseason to impress the coaching staff enough to keep him around.

Makes the roster? No.

WR Omar Bayless

Omar Bayless has yet to play a snap in the NFL after spending the entire 2020 season on IR. He has the size at 6-foot-1, 210-pounds to be a factor but it hasn't translated to the field. Much like Zylstra, Bayless is looking at a massive ladder to climb to make the roster. 

Makes the roster? No.

TE Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas has failed to live up to the expectations that were left to him when Greg Olsen departed. He is an athletic tight end that was supposed to make an impact in the passing game. This has yet to happen. The Panthers brought in Dan Arnold and Tommy Tremble this offseason as evidence that their patience with Thomas has run thin. He is my pick as a surprise cut candidate at the end of camp.

Makes the roster? No. 

TE Giovanni Ricci

Giovanni Ricci will come in and try to compete for the third and final TE spot on the Panthers roster. The odds are stacked against him after he spent all of 2020 on the practice squad when Carolina desperately needed some production out of the position. If there was ever a chance for him to make the team it would have been last year. 

Makes the roster? No.

T Aaron Monteiro

Aaron Monteiro spent some time on Carolina's practice squad over the past two seasons. He never got into any regular season action last year despite some of the teams injury issues on the offensive line. The addition of Brady Christensen has put a few of the Panthers' tackles on the roster bubble.

Makes the roster? No.

T Matt Kaskey

Matt Kaskey saw some action last season in Week 17. At just 24 years old, Kaskey has the potential to grow into a depth tackle in the league. He has the ideal size at 6-foot-7, 325-pounds. If he can't quite make the active 53-man roster expect him to get an offer to stick around on the practice squad so the team can continue to develop him.

Makes the roster? No.

G David Moore

David Moore was brought in as a free agent after he went undrafted in the 2021 NFL Draft. He played in the Senior Bowl with the Panthers' coaching staff so the team must have saw something in him to give him a chance in camp. At 6-foot-3, the rookie guard is a bit undersized but he could find a role if he proves he can make up for that with some added athleticism. Joe Brady's offense relies on a lot of swinging guards and motion plays so Moore could be a good fit if he is agile. 

Makes the roster? No. 

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