Everyone knows by now that the Carolina Panthers hit the DT position early and often in the 2013 NFL Draft, using their first two picks on the position in Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short.
What catscratchreader.com reports, however, is that the team has has 4 defensive tackles, one remaining roster spot, and an unsettled offensive line, and that DT Nate Chandler is being moved to offensive tackle.
I linked the article in the above paragraph so you can check out what they have to say as well.
As they point out, however, Chandler has good strength and quick feet, which are both necessities when blocking on the edge.
With Jordan Gross and Byron Bell having nearly guaranteed roster spots, at best Chandler would be a backup. That wouldn’t be unusual for a player established at a different position when trying to see if he’ll work out at a new one…Tim Tebow possibly being an example in New England, given the fact they have Tom Brady as the starter (DUH) and with 3rd-yr, rocket-armed Arkansas product Ryan Mallett being the primary backup. Tebow could be simply taking the place of Painter, their injured 3rd-stringer, but with BB’s history of using WRs as corners (Julian Edelman and Troy Brown) and Richard Seymour, a defensive tackle, as a fullback in goal-line sets. At least I think it was Seymour…at any rate a DL a la William “The Refrigerator” Perry circa 1985 in Chicago.
So, position changes sometimes happen, and actually sometimes do work out. If the change comes and Chandler does well with it, I think the best anyone can expect this season is as a back-up RT and as an emergency DT. He won’t be replacing Byron Bell on opening day, and frankly, the move is not a shocking one.
When I listed the Carolina Panthers’ needs pre-draft, RT was one of the needs. The other un-addressed needs were a WR and FS, but D.J. Campbell may be the answer there which is why Panthers’ GM David Gettleman didn’t draft a FS as he had only 5 picks to work with.
Overall depth on the OL is rather poor with Garry Williams being in the mix. The O-line should be okay if there are no major injuries, such as Ryan Kalil’s midseason knee injury, which forced starting RG Geoff Hangartner to take over, opening a hole at the RG spot.
Keep a good eye on the offensive line’s performance especially in scrimmages early and then the pre-season. When training camp is done with, we should know more about the situation since the Panthers face one of the better d-lines in the NFL in practice. If they can’t get it done there, the offense could struggle when the regular season rolls around.
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