4 surprising candidates to make the Carolina Panthers 53-man roster in 2023

Derek Wright
Derek Wright / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Marquan McCall - Carolina Panthers NT

This might be a strange name to appear on this list considering that Marquan McCall made the 53-man roster in 2022. But with a new coaching staff coming into the fold and a key defensive scheme switch, it means the mammoth nose tackle has to impress all over again.

The Carolina Panthers got more than they bargained for with McCall last season. He was scooped up quickly in undrafted free agency and immediately set about imposing himself, coming up with some eye-catching plays in the preseason and earning a roster place in no uncertain terms.

McCall didn't find things nearly as easy in a competitive environment. The former Kentucky star started well enough but tailed off significantly over the second half of 2022 as interim head coach Steve Wilks took the Panthers to within touching distance of a shock NFC South title triumph.

This obviously left McCall's hopes hanging in the balance with a new staff coming into the fold. However, Ejiro Evero's transition to a 3-4 base defense could see the gargantuan interior lineman become a nice backup option behind starting nose tackle Shy Tuttle provided he impresses enough at Wofford College.

For players like McCall, this is a year-to-year league with little in the way of guaranteed involvement attached. But if the fiery figure can leave a similar mark as last summer, he could be another surprising inclusion onto the roster despite the presence of veterans such as John Penisini also in contention.