Rhule's Former College Players & Their Projected Impact in Carolina

Schuyler Callihan

The Carolina Panthers are under the direction of new head coach Matt Rhule, who revamped the football programs at Temple and Baylor. 

Since taking the head coaching job with Carolina, Rhule has brought on several of his former players, some of which will fill major roles this upcoming season.

Below is a look at each player on the Panthers' roster that played for Rhule in college and what their projected role is with Carolina.

QB P.J. Walker (Temple)

College stats: 830/1,458 10,668 yards, 74 TD, 44 INT.

Pro stats: 1,338 yards, 15 TD, 4 INT (5 games in XFL).

Projected role: Walker refurbished his career in the XFL and earned another shot at playing in the NFL. Many think he will be Teddy Bridgewater's backup, but he will have to beat out Will Grier first. He is a solid player, but starting for the Panthers doesn't seem like a reality anytime soon.

WR Robby Anderson (Temple)

College stats: 114 rec, 1,730 yards, 16 TD.

Pro stats: 207 rec, 3,059 yards, 20 TD.

Projected role: Anderson will be a big play hitter in Joe Brady's offense. If he can establish chemistry with Bridgewater early in the season, he could do big things in 2020. To be honest, Bridgewater will be the most talented quarterback he's had since entering the NFL.

WR Keith Kirkwood (Temple)

College stats: 103 rec, 1,638 yards, 16 TD.

Pro stats: 13 rec, 209 yards, 2 TD.

Projected role: The Panthers receiving corps is loaded with young talent. Kirkwood brings a veteran presence that will likely have a bigger impact throughout the week than on Sunday's. 

OL Sam Tecklenburg (Baylor)

College stats: 41 starts combined between offensive line & tight end.

Pro stats: N/A

Projected role: Tecklenburg signed as an undrafted free agent and will try to fight his way onto the 53-man roster. Luckily for him, there isn't a ton of depth on the offensive line, which means if he impresses, he could have a shot.

TE Colin Thompson (Temple)

College stats: 19 rec, 208 yards, TD.

Pro stats: N/A

Projected role: Thompson previously spent time with the Bears and Giants, but failed to record any stats. With Ian Thomas, Seth DeValve, Chris Manhertz, and Temmarick Hemingway all in front of him, it will be tough to find a spot on the roster.

DL Bravvion Roy (Baylor)

College stats: 133 tackles, 19 TFL, 7.5 sacks.

Pro stats: N/A

Projected role: The Panthers 6th rounder has a lot of question marks, but comes with a lot of potential. Roy can provide depth on the interior of the defensive line, but seeing a lot of playing time doesn't seem realistic right out of the gate.

LB Tahir Whitehead (Temple)

College stats: 163 tackles, 25.5 TFL, seven sacks.

Pro stats: 633 tackles, 38 TFL, three sacks, five interceptions.

Projected role: Without a doubt, Whitehead will be one of the best playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. Losing Luke Kuechly hurts and there is no replacing him, but Whitehead is about as solid as a replacement you can get with a limited budget.

LB Sam Franklin (Temple)

College stats: 195 tackles, 24 TFL, 8 sacks, two interceptions.

Pro stats: N/A

Projected role: Franklin only played one year under Rhule and, at the time, was a defensive back. Since then, he has made the switch to linebacker and it's paid off big time. Franklin's chances of making the roster are slim, but should be a guy the Panthers keep around on the practice squad. 

CB Derrek Thomas (Temple & Baylor)

College stats: 21 tackles, 7 pass breakups, one interception.

Pro stats: N/A

Projected role: Thomas is a raw prospect that has a long way to go in terms of being in consideration for a spot on the 53-man roster. However, he could make his mark on special teams in the preseason to vie for a spot on the practice squad alongside Franklin.

Of this group, who do you believe will make the biggest impact for the Panthers?

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