As the NFL regular season approaches, rosters across the league are beginning to take form. Here we will take a look at the 2017 Carolina Panthers. After adding some key additions and a stellar draft, let’s take a look at the roster and see what has Panther fans so excited for the 2017 season!
- Kurt Coleman
- Mike Adams
- L.J. McCray
- Colin Jones
- Dezmen Southward
- Damian Parms
Panthers have waived S Dean Marlowe w/ an injury settlement.
Related: Panthers still need help w/ safety depth.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) August 15, 2017
Right off the bat we take a look at the safety position, with a talented roster this is the one position that I believe could quickly become an area of concern. The lack of depth in particular. The starters are promising, veterans Mike Adams and Kurt Coleman give the Panthers a solid duo. The question marks lie behind them on the roster, often injured Dean Marlowe was released with an injury settlement. Marlowe was praised by the coaches in part due to his potential, again bothered by a hamstring Marlowe is no longer on the roster.
With Kurt Coleman absent, Colin Jones is the first-team safety alongside Mike Adams in team period.
— Max Henson (@PanthersMax) August 16, 2017
So, where do the Panthers turn for depth? Maybe the “answer is on the roster”, a quote made famous by former GM David Gettelman. The Panthers are counting on the likes of L.J McCray and Dezmen Southward to be relied upon if necessary. Colin Jones is a virtual lock to make the roster but only as a special teams “guru”. Though Jones has some in-game and even playoff experience as a safety, he’s been less than stellar when called upon.
Why didn’t they draft a safety? As a position of need, many thought the Panthers would draft a safety in what was deemed a deep safety class. Cutting Tre Boston and not drafting a safety has left the position extremely thin. The coaching staff must have strong faith in the guys behind Adams and Coleman, avoiding an injury to the position is ideal. However an injury to the safety position could be devastating to a team looking to get back into contention in the NFC.
With a Pro Bowler in Mike Adams and the often overlooked Kurt Coleman who’s quietly been one of the best “ball hawks” in the league since arriving in Carolina in 2015. This may very well be the best safety duo the Panthers have had in quite sometime. I fully expect new(ish) GM Marty Hurny to search the waiver wire for some depth after the preseason cuts have been made. Dezmen Southward had a stellar outing in the Panthers first preseason game, possibly playing himself onto the roster and being the answer to all of Panther fans worries about the position heading into 2017 season.