Which Carolina Panthers players are emerging as surprising candidates to make the 53-man roster heading into the 2023 campaign?
One thing the Carolina Panthers and their new regime have preached throughout the offseason so far is the importance of competition. They want each player fighting for their spots - from the most established in the locker room to those further down the pecking order attempting to carve out roles for themselves - something that could improve performances in a competitive environment along the way.
Carolina's strength in depth only improved throughout the spring. It was a frantic period of recruitment during free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft, with more potentially on the way considering the salary-cap space available to general manager Scott Fitterer.
We'll find out more about which position groups need reinforcements when the pads start clapping at training camp. Until then, head coach Frank Reich is giving everyone a clean slate as he looks to make everyone earn their respective depth chart statuses.
With that in mind, here are four surprising candidates to make Carolina's 53-man roster in 2023.
Rejzohn Wright - Carolina Panthers CB
The Carolina Panthers opted not to strengthen their cornerback options much during the spring. While this could come back to haunt them, it provides a window of opportunity for Rejzohn Wright to emerge from undrafted free agency and into a roster spot.
Wright was perhaps unfortunate to not hear his name called during the draft. The Last Chance U star has some impressive athletic intangibles that could be molded into something more, which would be a pleasant surprise for the Panthers given how many questions surround this particular position group heading into the campaign.
It'll be a tough ask for Wright to earn defensive reps as a rookie and missing a large part of early workouts through injury wasn't ideal. However, all he'll need is a strong training camp to confirm his status on the roster.