Carolina Panthers Offensive Starters
Quarterback- Teddy Bridgewater
The first Carolina Panthers offensive starter is a no brainer with Teddy Bridgewater at the quarterback position. The Panthers just signed Bridgewater to a 3 year deal worth up to $63 million this offseason in Free Agency. Bridgewater has experience working with the Panthers new Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady while both were with the New Orleans Saints in 2018. The coaching staff has confidence that Bridgewater can lead this offense with quick decisions with the football and manage the game correctly. Bridgewater is the best option for the Panthers going forward, being able to lead the offense, make correct reads, and win football games. Being able to do everything you want in a quarterback, Bridgewater has the pocket awareness needed, ability to run for yards, has the accuracy to be successful in the NFL.
Running Back- Christian McCaffrey
It is obvious that Christian McCaffrey is going to be the starting Running back for the Panthers this year. He is coming off a career year that only two other players have ever achieved in NFL History by rushing for 1,000 yards and receiving for 1,000 yards. Going into his 4th season in the NFL and getting close to the end of this rookie contract the Panthers made McCaffrey the highest paid running back in the NFL. Signing a 4 year $64 million contract, McCaffrey is going to be the Panthers starting running back for years to come.
To Read About The Panthers Draft Class Grades. Click Here.
Full Back- Alex Armah
Alex Armah was the Panthers full back last season. Drafted in 2017, Armah is still young and has no competition on the roster to take his starting job. After helping with McCaffrey get to his 1,000 yards rushing for the past two seasons. There should be no reason for the Panthers to think about replacing Armah.
Wide Receiver- DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel
At the Wide Receiver position, DJ Moore and Robby Anderson will be the starters. Moore is coming off a career season with 1,175 yards receiving in his second year. Placing top 5 in the league for receiving yards with inconsistent Quarterback play last year. Moore will have a great season and can be a true #1 Wide Receiver for the Panthers.
Robby Anderson is one of many new guy in the receiver group for the Panthers. Coming from the New York Jets this offseason in Free Agency, Anderson reunites with Head Coach Matt Rhule and Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Signing a contract for 2 years worth $20 million, Anderson bring more speed to the Panthers offense. Anderson also brings something else that the Panthers were missing last season, and that is height. While standing at 6 ft. 3 in. tall, he has the ability to go up for the football over smaller cornerbacks.
Curtis Samuel will be a big piece in the offense, but might not be listed as a starter with Moore and Anderson ahead of him. Samuel brings a lot of versatility to the offense for the Panthers. Being able to line up in the slot, out wide, or as the Panthers have done sometimes, at running back. With inconsistent quarterback play, Samuel did not have as much production as many hoped he would last season. Expect that to change for Samuel this upcoming season.
Tight End- Ian Thomas
The Panthers released 3-time Pro Bowler and fan favorite, Greg Olsen before the Super Bowl last season, to go younger with Ian Thomas. Ian Thomas was the Panthers 4th Round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. With raw talent, Thomas needed to develop more. The injury issues Olsen had the past few seasons, it rushed Thomas to step up and play. A disappointing start to his career, Matt Rhule and Joe Brady believes he can be the future Tight End for the Panthers in this offense. Another option for the Panthers at Tight End can be Seth Devalve, who just signed in Free Agency with the Panthers, coming from the Cleveland Browns. With the competition, fully expect the Panthers to go with Thomas over Devalve.
To Read About The Panthers Future. Click Here.
Left Tackle- Russell Okung
Russell Okung was acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Chargers for former Panthers right guard Trai Turner. The deal was a straight up trade with no picks or other players involved. Okung is a former 2 time Pro Bowler with the most recent trip to the Pro Bowl in 2017, as well as a Super Bowl Champion. Okung is the best option at Left Tackle for the Panthers after seeing many players try to secure the blindside for the Quarterback last season. With injury issues himself, the Panthers took a risk on this trade. With an expiring contract after this upcoming season, the risk will not be for too long. Okung, if he can stay healthy, will be an upgrade for the Panthers no matter what.
Left Guard- Michael Schofield
Playing alongside Russell Okung will be his former teammate from last year, Michael Schofield. Schofield signed with the Panthers after the draft to a 1 year deal worth $2 million. Last season the Panthers have Greg Van Roten playing Left Guard until he was hit with a season ending injury late in the year. Schofield played a total of 1057 offensive snaps for the Chargers last year, only giving up 1 sack and only having 1 penalty all season. There can be a chance that Schofield will play on the right side where he played years prior for the Chargers.
Center- Matt Paradis
Matt Paradis is returning to the Panthers offensive starter this upcoming season with no competition to the center position. Paradis came to the Panthers last season from the Denver Broncos after coming off an injury. While having a disappointing season last year, the hope is that Paradis could bounce back this year.
Right Guard- John Miller
Replacing the former Panthers starter Trai Turner will be former Cincinnati Bengals Guard John Miller. With the 1 year “prove it” contract, Miller will be able to play and on the right side to protect the Quarterback. This is a downgrade from Turner being a 5 time Pro Bowler, but it is a cheaper option for the Panthers. If it does not go too well the Panthers can cut their losses. While the Panthers are still in their “rebuilding” stage they can sign or draft another replacement next offseason. As well as Michael Schofield, Miller can go on either side of the line to play guard.
Right Tackle- Taylor Moton
The final Panthers offensive starter is Taylor Moton who is going into his 4th season in the NFL and with the Panthers. Moton adds to a great draft class, coming in the league with Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. Moton was the second round pick of the Panthers in 2017. In his first year at Right Tackle last season, Moton was able to produce and be a reliable piece to the offensive line. Moton will continue to be a reliable piece as a Panthers offensive starter for this season and hopefully years to come. With the end of his rookie contact coming up, the Panthers have a decision to make on him.
As always, all feedback is appreciated. You can find me on Twitter @SznPanthers. Follow and start a conversation or debate about anything Panthers!