5 Panthers position groups that might be better than expected in 2021

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Juston Burris
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Juston Burris /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Joseph Charlton /

Carolina Panthers ST

We’ve already spoken about how the kicking game could improve thanks to the arrival of Ryan Santoso. But things could look promising in other areas of special team play.

The Carolina Panthers have clearly put a strong emphasis on finding depth chart guys who can assist in this vital phase. They might not make a contribution on offense or defense that much, but that does not detract from what important cogs in the wheel each member of the 53-man roster could become.

Joseph Charlton is also going to play a big part in this. The punter performed far better than anticipated after joining the team as an undrafted free agent and his consistency in preseason games suggests more of the same is expected during the regular season.

Carolina’s decision to part ways with David Moore means someone else needs to step up and make a difference on kick and punt returns. The options are there, with the likes of Trenton Cannon, Shi Smith, Brandon Zylstra, and even D.J. Moore highlighted by head coach Matt Rhule as players that could fill the void.

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While it sometimes gets overlooked, there is every chance the Panthers special teams group can put the team in the best position to succeed in 2021 if everything goes right.