4 Carolina Panthers skyrocketing up depth chart after 2023 preseason opener

Which Carolina Panthers players improved their roster chances in Preseason Week 1?
Spencer Brown
Spencer Brown / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Spencer Brown - Carolina Panthers RB

As previously mentioned, there wasn’t much offensively to be happy about on Saturday. But the performance of running back Spencer Brown was a cause for optimism.

Brown was an undrafted free agent out of UAB in 2021 and has been a fixture on the Carolina Panthers practice squad ever since. After his positive performance in Week 1, could he finally find his way onto the roster?

He finished the contest with 34 yards rushing on eight carries. Considering how poorly the offensive line played, this represents a solid return.

This is also reflected in Brown's 74.4 grade from Pro Football Focus - the second highest offensively behind Derek Wright. With the Panthers expected to carry three running backs on the final roster, a lot will depend on the role of Raheem Blackshear moving forward.

Blackshear holds the RB3 spot and is also the team's primary kick/punt returner. If Frank Reich sees this as his primary role, it may give his teammate a genuine shot at making the roster.

The Panthers are also lacking a bigger back for third and short situations. At 6-foot-0 and 220 pounds, Brown is arguably the best option on the roster.

Brown has familiarity with the team having spent the past two seasons on the practice squad more often than not. One could imagine that working with new coach Duce Staley will only improve his game.

While he is likely currently on the roster bubble, a strong showing in the final two preseason games could see Brown emerge as a candidate for the 53.