Recently I had a friend of mine ask me who I thought the best Panther on our roster was. Immediately I gave a nonsensical answer, but on further speculation I found myself lost as to who the number one player could be. Is it the DROY Luke Kuechly or the OROY Cam Newton? Is it one of the top two sack leaders in the NFC? Or is it Steve Smith, the leader in almost everything receiving for the franchise? I soon came up with a top Panther but not before I thought of posting my Top 25 players here on CatCrave.com. I tried my best to give every player on our roster a fair shake, without being biased (Sorry LaFell, you are still number one in my heart!) Yesterday’s list, 20-16, can be found here if you need to catch up on the players already listed. As for now, I present to you numbers 15-11!
Update: Quintin Mikell is not included on this list. I typed up all 25 bios before the Panthers signed him. However I have updated the Charles Godfrey bio with the information for continuity.
15. Dwan Edwards, Defensive Tackle
Starting off today’s edition of the list is “Big” Dwan Edwards! Another personal favorite player of mine, Dwan Edwards is one of those players who wasn’t exactly a stud on other teams but the combination of Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson really allowed for “Big” Dwan to show what he was really made of, and become the stud he was meant to be. And what a stud indeed! “Big” Dwan is everything you want out of a Defensive Tackle. Strong and dependable, possessing the ability to stuff up holes and stop the run as well as pressuring and collapsing the pocket when the opposing QB takes a 3 step drop. Dwan ended up having a break out year with the Panthers last season, ending the season with a career high of six sacks. He really proved himself, for there were many who were skeptical about the signing after he was cut from Buffalo for failing a physical. However, he proved himself to me as well as all the Panther fans out there. Edwards had a great standout year last season, and I’m sure the best is yet to come.
14. Charles Godfrey, Safety
Godfrey comes in on the list at number 14 for a few reasons. First things first, I believe that Charles Godfrey’s best days are still ahead of him. He already has had a great first six seasons, but his stats have steadily inclined from year to year, without a peak. The stats just continue to improve and that is extremely impressive, at least to me. He ended last season with two interceptions, not the most in his career, but still, two interceptions is quite impressive for a struggling defense. Godfrey has also been the sole leader on the safety unit, with the opposite safety position being something more of a revolving door. Godfrey was brought in as a starter from the draft and was expected to lead with no experience what so ever. With the addition of Quintin Mikell, Godfrey will finally be in a position to learn instead of teach. As I said before, I believe that Godfrey’s best days are ahead of him. He has tremendous upside, and I expect the Panthers to better their defense with the growth of all of the young players as well as seasoned vets, Mikell, Davis, and Godfrey showing the young guys the ropes.
13. Mike Tolbert, Fullback
I feel that Mike Tolbert was brought into the Panthers organization based on a whim from former GM Marty Hurney. With that being said Mike Tolbert is an incredible talent. He offers so much to the Panthers running game and provides the team with a somewhat automatic touchdown machine. Tolbert had a stellar career with the San Diego Chargers but for some reason his numbers haven’t exactly transferred over to his second team. I feel the Panthers haven’t really used his talents to their full extent. If you look back at his highlights from San Diego, you’ll find just as many touchdowns but they were from out of the backfield passes and designed routes, instead of goal-line pushes. Obviously the Chargers used him for those as well, but man oh man; the Panthers should really use him out of the backfield more often. The possibilities are endless, and I expect the Panthers to show us some more explosive plays out of the backfield this year. So Tolbert clocks in at number 13 on the list, for all the reasons listed above, and… for his incredible dancing skills.
12. Jon Beason, Linebacker
Jon Beason has had a rough career riddled with injury. He has started two seasons in his already phenomenal career with multiple injuries. Beason is back now and we all are hoping he can return to those Pro-Bowl numbers he put up years ago. There en-lies the entire problem. Beason is coming back from two grueling injuries and to perform at his past numbers might be a distant memory. I do have faith in Beason. His past numbers have been enough to submit him amongst the Panther greats and with the additions of Kuechly and Star in the past two years and the emergence of Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson as one of the more potent sack tandems in entire NFL, the defense has the ability to give Beason support if his level of play begins to slack. I don’t think it will. I’m not sure why I believe this, all signs point to Beason slowing down but being an optimist I see only great things ahead for Beason. His past numbers make him great but with him, Kuechly, Davis, the front four, and the underrated secondary, man this defense has a great chance of being a top five defense. Beason is a great defender and with the pieces around, I’m just in awe.
11. DeAngelo Williams, Running Back
DeAngelo Williams is one of the most popular and polarizing players on the current roster. If you come to a Panthers game the only jerseys you will see are: Steve Smith, Cam Newton, and DeAngelo Williams. And the Williams jerseys outweigh the first two listed. The thing is, DeAngelo is slipping from what he used to be. His past numbers eclipse his current ones tenfold. If you would have asked me to rank the roster three or four years ago I would have put DeAngelo near the top. However, I still love the guy and he will continue to provide, and more than likely, revitalize the Panthers running game. Williams is the best RB the Panthers have ever had, but his 1,000 yard games are behind him. He will continue to produce however and he is number 11 on this list for a reason. DeAngelo is a great running back, he’s quick, bursts through holes with reckless abandon, and I strongly believe that his 1,000 yard games would become a reality if the Offensive Line improves drastically.
Well I hoped you enjoyed today’s edition of the Top 25 Carolina Panthers. Please leave your feedback in the comments below and I hope you return tomorrow for numbers 10-6!