This past week, the Carolina Panthers had to take care of a little housekeeping—some work that resulted in what is now their 53-man roster. And heck, they had even more tidying up to do after that—with their moves to accommodate a high-profile injury, a new kicker and the start of a practice squad.
So, now that that’s all done, how will their first official depth chart of the 2022 regular season pan out? Here are our projections.
AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman
Mayfield, of course, will steer this ship into Week 1 against his old Cleveland Browns buddies. And as Sam Darnold and Matt Corral sit on the injured reserve, with the former out for about a month and the latter for the whole season, Walker is the de facto backup.
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As long as McCaffrey is present, Foreman seems to be the likelier No. 2 option. His power style is a more complementary change of pace for the offense.
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Laviska Shenault Jr.
Terrace Marshall Jr.
Shenault could be the wildcard of the offense, let alone this group. The 2020 second-round pick, who was acquired this past Monday, may even take snaps out of the backfield—perhaps in a poor man’s version of how the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers deploy Cordarrelle Patterson and Deebo Samuel.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
If Bozeman is indeed a go in Week 1, he should get the nod over Elflein.
As for their depth, the Panthers have made a pointed effort to fill their bench with versatile hog mollies. They have that in Elflein, Erving, Mays and—if need be—Christensen, who can swing over to the blindside.
AP Photo/Nick Wass
Marquis Haynes Sr.
Carolina has themselves two intriguing rookies in Barno and Smith. They’ll, obviously, start out as depth—but could make their presences felt with opportunities just waiting to be seized.
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Stantley Thomas-Oliver III
Keith Taylor Jr.
Sam Franklin Jr.
Even though he stands at just 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, Hartsfield should be a big player in this secondary. He can line up from a number of spots, giving defensive coordinator Phil Snow a chess piece of sorts over the top and from the slot.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
With Zane Gonzalez done for the season, Piñeiro takes over the kicking duties.
Roberts, the most experienced return man on the team by a wide margin, could handle both kickoffs and punts.