Panthers' Projected as one of the Fastest 11 Personnel Groups  for 2020

Jack Duffy

The Carolina Panthers entered the dawn of a new era this offseason by moving on from several former household names. Head coach Ron Rivera was fired last December after nine years with the team. Defensive centerpiece Luke Kuechly abruptly announcing his retirement along with former MVP Cam Newton being cut by the team after failing to find a trade candidate.

Despite losing former franchise centerpieces and eight of their defensive starters from 2019, the Panthers were still able to maintain their core skill players on offense that include the talents of D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey, Curtis Samuel. The team also signed deep threat wide receiver Robby Anderson and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as free agents this offseason to help fortify their youth-filled offensive core.

The team may have several gaps throughout their roster but one unquestionable truth is that their skill players on the offensive side of the ball will be their saving grace in 2020.

According to Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network, the Panthers have one of the fastest skill groups in 11 personnel formations (three wide receivers, one tight end, one running back) heading into the 2020 season. NFL Network pulled 40-yard dash times for all 32 teams in the league and projected their starters in an 11-personnel formation.

Carolina came in as the fourth-fastest group, coming in with an average 40 time of 4.46 seconds among those five skill players. Carolina’s projected 11 personnel group includes the aforementioned D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, Robby Anderson, Christian McCaffrey, and tight end Ian Thomas.

Teams are certainly built on the offensive and defensive lines, and while Carolina has begun to invest in those areas, they already possess proficient talent and speed on offense. Every one of their skill players is young - Robby Anderson being the oldest at 27 - with promising career trajectories that the Panthers will continue to invest in and look to build upon into the future.

In a star-studded NFC South, Carolina may not have top-tier talent compared to their divisional rivals but one niche they may have found - that Joe Brady will surely look to utilize in his offense - is their premium speed at the skill positions. In fact, no other NFC South team was listed in the top five in the previously mentioned statistic.

Average 40-yard dash times amongst a team’s projected 11 personnel group is definitely a knit-picked statistic and may not be all too conclusive or contribute to in-game success. However, it is a small part of a bigger story in Carolina. Apart from having anything but lofty expectations in terms of win totals for Matt Rhule’s inaugural season as Panthers’ head coach, there are several silver linings in Carolina that certainly begin with their playmakers on offense.

How optimistic do you feel about the Panthers’ core offensive group heading into 2020? How do they rank in the NFC South? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and discuss it with fellow Panther fans!

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