Panthers depth chart focus: Can tight ends thrive under Ben McAdoo?
By Dean Jones
Outside of the projected starting duo, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of quality depth in the tight end room. The Carolina Panthers could address this before the season gets underway, but much will also depend on how each individual further down the pecking order performs in the weeks and months ahead.
Carolina brought back Colin Thompson on a one-year deal this offseason. He is a Matt Rhule guy from their time together at Temple but featured in just 14 percent of offensive snaps in 2021 and was targeted just once throughout the campaign.
Thompson did provide some assistance on special teams, which might be enough to earn a spot on the 53-man roster depending on how many tight ends the Panthers decide to take on board.
Stephen Sullivan also remains on the team despite no involvement so far. His physical skills were there for all to see at LSU during their memorable national championship triumph in 2019, even if these haven’t come together as yet during a frustrating pro career so far.
Josh Babicz will be a player to monitor during the early offseason period before we can truly gauge what – if anything – the undrafted free agent could bring to the Panthers. And Giovanni Ricci’s transition to the full-back role is probably where the player is best suited based on recent history.
This only puts more pressure on Ian Thomas and Tommy Tremble to get the job done. If they cannot rise to the occasion under Ben McAdoo, then the Panthers might find someone else who can.