Carolina Panthers Training Camp Preview: Offensive Line

If you’ve been a regular listener of Cat Crave Radio — a weekly Carolina Panthers podcast hosted by John White — then you already know White is previewing one position a week, up until the start of regular season. Today, I’m going to start reviewing all positions (in addition to the “12 Days to Training Camp” segment). Nine positions in nine days.

Today we will look at the offensive line. Player to watch: Kurtis Gregory, undrafted rookie, Mizzou.

There are some new faces at the position, but the key factor is the Panthers have a solid front-five in the starting lineup: left tackle Jordan Gross, left guard Travelle Wharton, center Ryan Kalil, right guard Mackenzey Bernadeau, and right tackle Jeff Otah.

At this point, it’s safe to say that at least three of these positions are secure: left and right tackle, and center. left guard and right guard could be up for grabs however, as there is a lot of youth and depth at the position.

Duke Robinson and C.J. Davis are the first two players who aren’t starters, that come to mind, as most likely to compete for a starting position.

That leaves three others as least likely to start. However, don’t let the fact that they are rookies cloud your judgment. Out of the remaining three, I would say there are two whom you should really keep an eye on: Hawaii product Ray Hisatake and Mizzou product Kurtis Gregory.

Between these two men, I’ll definitely be watching Gregory the closest. He’s the one who dominated first-round pick Ndamukong Suh, when Nebraska played Mizzou in 2009.

At this point, I could definitely see Gregory challenging Bernadeau, Mackenzey, Robinson, and Davis to move up in the depth chart.

It’s not too likely that Gregory will be a starter by merit this season, but don’t be surprised if he does enough to move up and put himself on the practice squad at worst, if not the active roster.

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Topics: 2010 Training Camp, Battles, C.J. Davis, Carolina Panthers, Cat Crave Radio, Duke Robinson, Jeff Otah, John White, Jordan Gross, Kurtis Gregory, Mackenzey Bernadeau, Mizzou, Ndamukong Suh, NFL, Offensive Line, Ray Hisatake, Ryan Kalil, Travelle Wharton

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  • mcap

    Why was this kid undrafted? Is there a history of injuries? He definitely looked impressive against a supposed future star.

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      I…don’t know! I was quite surprised myself, when I saw the highlight reel of this guy against a top draft pick. Then again, the guy who was a number one fullback entering this year’s draft, also went undrafted and was signed by the Panthers. Go figure!

      Thanks for the read and good question, Mcap.

  • John

    The reason he went undrafted is he was considered more a role player than a true NFL prospect. His footwork is suspect, as are his quickness, flexibility and use of leverage. He ended up on the ground a lot. He was projected as a backup at best coming out of the combine.

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      Just by looking at the clip, I can see what you’re talking about. I’ve never claimed to be an expert at watching video, but I do appreciate your explanation. I was probably quite caught up too, in who he was blocking, lol.

      • John

        Well the fact that he had such a good showing against Suh gives you hope that with some coaching up he can improve some of those things. But you can’t teach speed so that’s the hardest issue to overcome for him with technique and that is what will probably relegate him to backup status.