Which Carolina Panthers players could exceed expectations during the first training camp under new head coach Frank Reich in 2023?
Wednesday marks the start of training camp practices for the Carolina Panthers. Rookies descended on Wofford College in Spartanburg over the weekend for a head start, with veterans set to join them tomorrow (Tuesday) before the grueling series of sessions begin.
This is one of the more fascinating camps in franchise history. The Panthers altered almost everything across the organization since the 2022 campaign concluded, which has galvanized the fanbase and left many within the media wondering whether Carolina could emerge as a postseason challenger in their first year with Frank Reich at the helm.
In order for these lofty objectives to be met, strong foundations must be laid in the weeks ahead before the Panthers get their campaign underway at the Atlanta Falcons. This added sense of urgency and coupled with extra competition for places might even bring a shock or two along the way.
With this in mind, here are three Panthers players who could surprise during camp practices in 2023.
DeShawn Williams - Carolina Panthers DL
DeShawn Williams has gone from working at Amazon to playing for his hometown team in a relatively short space of time. The defensive lineman proved his worth under Ejiro Evero on the Denver Broncos last season, which is all the progressive coordinator needed to bring him to the Carolina Panthers.
Williams will be aiming to put his previous experience within Evero's 3-4 base system to good use in pursuit of a starting berth. This could go either way, so it'll be interesting to see how this dynamic across the front three shakes out with Derrick Brown and Shy Tuttle locked in for prominent roles.
Others will also fancy their chances. But there's no doubt Williams is a prime candidate to surprise with his performance levels when the pads begin clapping at training camp.