Carolina Panthers final 53-man roster projection for 2021 season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith and D.J. Moore /

Carolina Panthers WRs (6)

  • D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, Terrace Marshall Jr., David Moore, Shi Smith, Keith Kirkwood.

This group is absolutely stacked despite Curtis Samuel taking his chances elsewhere in free agency. Some strong recruitment from the Carolina Panthers both during free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft sees the unit looking arguably deeper than in 2020, which can only mean good things for quarterback Sam Darnold in the coming months.

Carolina’s skill players are obviously led by D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. The prolific tandem both went over 1,000 yards receiving last season and if they get on the same page quickly with Darnold, the sky is the limit for this duo.

The Panthers also have two promising rookies who’ve stood out considerably in Terrace Marshall Jr. and Shi Smith. Both wideouts should carve out a big role for themselves over time, with the LSU product a lively outsider for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year given his preseason production.

Another player that should make a difference is David Moore. The free-agent signing from the Seattle Seahawks is someone that can influence proceedings all over the field, with his ability in the return game another element to his potential influence that deserves consideration.

Outside of this, there might just be one available spot, with Brandon Zylstra, Omar Bayless, and Keith Kirkwood the main contenders.

Much will depend on the severity of Smith’s shoulder injury suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This could leave the Panthers short and they might end up taking a gamble on either Kirkwood or Bayless after Zylstra’s two drops on Friday night.