Two different Carolina Panthers have been chosen as the ‘best newcomer’ in the NFC South this season…
The Carolina Panthers have undergone a significant amount of changes during the offseason, starting at the top. For the first time in franchise history, Carolina enters a season with an owner other than founder Jerry Richardson, who announced his intentions to sell the franchise in December of last year.
Amid workplace misconduct allegations, Richardson opted to put the organization up for sale and new owner David Tepper was recently approved by the league. Tepper comes with NFL experience, having a small stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers but embarks on his first full-time ownership role with the Panthers.
Multiple other changes have also taken place among coach Ron Rivera‘s staff, down to the roster which holds enough talent to make a significant run. While so many changes leave multiple questions about the future, two new additions were recently highlighted by ESPN.
In a tally of players from each divisional team’s correspondent, two different Panthers were picked to make a big difference this season. Rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore was chosen by Panthers reporter David Newton as the newest member of the NFC South that will have the biggest impact. Compared to Calvin Ridley, who was selected by rival Atlanta just two picks after Moore, the two receivers should provide for plenty of comparison analysis inside the division.
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Covering the Falcons, Vaughn McClure, chose a member new to the Panthers but not the division. Defensive tackle Dontari Poe moved from Atlanta to Carolina during free agency and should see a lot of playing time after the Panthers lost starter Star Lotulelei.
Poe’s addition will be key in replacing the former defensive tackle and having his own former reporter point out the difference he should make for a divisional rival speaks volumes about his capabilities in the middle.
Both should have an immediate impact on the roster for Carolina and if all goes according to plan will also be pivotal players in helping the Panthers recapture the divisional title next season.
View the rest of the top NFC South newcomers as selected by ESPN, here.