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.