The Carolina Panthers announced their final 53-man roster Saturday, and making the team were three undrafted rookies, two late camp additions, and two practice squad players.
Wide receiver Brenton Bersin, a Wofford College alumnus, and linebacker Ben Jacobs made the team after being practice squad players last season. Running back Fozzy Whittaker and guard Fernando Velasco were signed the day training camp began and made the team; Whittaker’s stock skyrocketed after a brilliant preseason and the trading of running back Kenjon Barner. Wide receiver Philly Brown and guard Andrew Norwell, both of Ohio State, and tackle David Foucault were the undrafted rookies to make the team; Foucault was the No. 1 overall pick in the Canadian Football League draft.
Here is the Carolina Panthers 53-man roster, by position:
Quarterback: Cam Newton, Derek Anderson, Joe Webb
Running back: DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert, Fozzy Whittaker
Wide receiver: Kelvin Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant, Brenton Bersin, Philly Brown
Tight end*: Greg Olsen, Ed Dickson, Richie Brockel, Brandon Williams
*A clear indication of the Panther’s intentions to use tight ends in the offense this season; Note: D.C. Jefferson was placed on injured reserve
Offensive linemen: Ryan Kalil, Amini Silatolu, Trai Turner, Byron Bell, Nate Chandler, Garry Williams, Fernando Velasco, Brian Folkerts, Andrew Norwell, David Foucault
Defensive end*: Charles Johnson, Greg Hardy, Kony Ealy, Wes Horton, Mario Addison
*Frank Alexander, one of the preseason’s top performers, will not count towards the 53-man roster because of his four-game suspension to begin the season; once his suspension is up the Panthers will have to release him or make a roster spot, which usually works itself out through injury
Defensive tackle: Star Lotulelei, Kawann Short, Colin Cole, Dwan Edwards
Linebacker: Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Chase Blackburn, AJ Klein, Jason Williams, Ben Jacobs
Defensive back*: Thomas DeCoud, Roman Harper, Melvin White, Antoine Cason, Charles Godfrey, Colin Jones, Josh Norman, Bene Benwikere, Tre Boston
*It was surprising to see 5th round draft selection Tre Boston make the team after missing most of training camp and the preseason
Specialists: Graham Gano, Brad Nortman, J.J. Hansen
The Carolina Panthers also named team captains this weekend, selecting Thomas Davis, Charles Johnson, Ryan Kalil, Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, and Greg Olsen.
“We let them pick who they wanted and it just happened to be three offense and three defense,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “The credibility is there. Their teammates see them as guys they want leading them.”
Davis will be captain for the fourth straight season. Johnson has been a captain since midway through the 2012 season. Newton, Kalil, and Kuechly were first captains in 2013. This is Olsen’s first time a captain.
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