It was a dismal performance overall, but which Carolina Panthers players skyrocketed up the depth chart after Preseason Week 1?
It was a chastising first game for Frank Reich and his new staff. After an offseason filled mainly with praise and expectation, this opening contest showed that this team still has some way to go before being a competitive organization.
While it is important to note that this was the second preseason outing for the New York Jets following their appearance in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game, there’s little defense for a 27-0 shutout with only 165 yards of total offense. The most worrying aspect was the performance of the starting offensive line unit, which allowed constant pressure on rookie Bryce Young.
Outside of Bradley Bozeman and Brady Christensen, the protection was reminiscent of the 2021 Carolina Panthers and not the unit we saw last season. Once the starters were replaced, we saw the problems continue.
One must feel for Matt Corral. After an injury curtailed his rookie season, this was his first extended snaps in an NFL game. Thanks to the likes of Cam Erving and Michael Jordan, he spent most of it evading pressure or being sacked.
It is important not to overact, but it would be asinine to just simply write this game off. While the Jets are one of the league's best defenses, being shut out was a worry. The fact that offensive line coach James Campen called an emergency post-game meeting with his group should tell you Carolina is certainly not writing this off as just teething problems.
However, it wasn’t all bad. Despite the offensive struggles we saw various defensive players show promising signs. Derrick Brown looks to be improving weekly after his breakout 2022 season and the fact the Jets were double-teaming him on the first series shows the respect shown to him.
If this is something that continues into the season, it’ll open up opportunities for the likes of Brian Burns and Justin Houston to get after the quarterback.
But without further ado, let’s take a look at four players whose roster chances improved heading into the second week of preseason.