Panthers training camp: 4 surprise adds to the 53-man roster

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) Adarius Taylor
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) Adarius Taylor /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brandon Zylstra /

Carolina Panthers Player No. 4: Brandon Zylstra (WR)

The Carolina Panthers have an embarrassment of riches at the wide receiver position. Their top-three options could become one of the NFL’s best pass-catching trios. And there are plenty of others who will be fighting for targets during training camp.

One such individual is Brandon Zylstra, who is reliable if not explosive presence on short to intermediate routes. The wideout will need to beat out some promising young players and recently acquired free agents. But there won’t be a smarter receiver out on the field during team drills.

Zylstra caught the eye during limited action with the Panthers in 2019. He brought in eight of 12 targets for 108 yards and five first downs. And this is further proof of what a dependable player he is in crucial situations.

Carolina’s coaching staff might be tempted to go with a wildcard who has the potential to be great given the strength of their starting options. Zylstra has it all to do in his bid to make the roster. But he is a smart route-runner who knows how to create necessary separation at the right time.

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His previous experience in this sort of situation is another thing that will stand Zylstra in good stead. And although people have written off his chance of making the team. The wideout may prove worthy enough for a surprise roster spot in 2020.