Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at each position group and giving our way-too-early depth chart projections. Today, we move on to the left guards.
Starter - Pat Elflein
Earlier this offseason, the Panthers signed Pat Elflein to a three-year, $13.5 million deal to help stabilize the interior offensive line. Throughout the first four years of his career, Elflein has been very inconsistent. He had a solid rookie season but followed that up with a sophomore slump. Elflein was decent again in 2019 but dropped off big time in 2020. To be honest, no one really knows what the Panthers are getting in Elflein and whether or not he will actually be an improvement from what Carolina had a year ago with Chris Reed. Given the contract he received from the Panthers shows they have confidence in him to figure things out under the tutelage of Pat Meyer which is why I'm slating him to be the starter.
Backup - Dennis Daley
Daley did some really good things in his rookie year back in 2019 and was one of the very few offensive linemen that were impressing the coaching staff last year in training camp. Rhule thought really high of Daley until he injured his ankle which caused him to miss the first few weeks of the season. He returned and played in five games, making three starts but wasn't as sharp as he normally is which was to be expected. Unfortunately, Daley missed more time at the end of the season to a concussion. If he stays healthy throughout training camp, he should be a lock to be the No. 2 left guard and could possibly even compete for the starting right guard job.
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