4 under-the-radar Panthers who need to perform against the Raiders

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Juston Burris
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Juston Burris /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Pharoh Cooper /

Pharoh Cooper – WR/KR

There doesn’t appear to be much separating the Carolina Panthers and their Week 1 opponents. It might ultimately come down to a big play here or there. But field position is also going to be pivotal to the overall outcome.

Fortunately for the Panthers, they have a primary kick returner at their disposal in Pharoh Cooper. He is a former All-Pro who was one of the standout performers at training and the organization has high hopes for the way he can impact their offense and the return game.

Just how many targets and touches that Cooper receives is up for debate. The Panthers are loaded on offense and this might leave the do-it-all weapon on the outside looking in. But having the ability to line up on the outside, in the slot, or even as a running back is a tool that offensive coordinator Joe Brady would be foolish to ignore.

Cooper is listed as the No. 1 kick returner in Carolina heading into the season. This is an area where the player has excelled during his career and it is clear that the player is looking to make a considerable impression in this crucial area of the game.

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He might be a surprise that the Raiders don’t see coming. Making the 53-man roster was the first objective for Cooper and now he must show his worth when competitive action gets underway.