Carolina Panthers 53-man 2024 roster projection: Sizzling summer edition

Things are becoming clearer after early workouts.
Dave Canales
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Carolina Panthers DL (6)

  • Derrick Brown, Shy Tuttle, A’Shawn Robinson, Jaden Crumedy, Nick Thurman, LaBryan Ray.

We all know what Derrick Brown is capable of. He’s the best player on the Carolina Panthers' roster coming off a historic 2023 campaign. He is the franchise star until a certain signal-caller takes the potential next step.

However, the Panthers signed A’Shawn Robinson to a three-year, $22.5 million contract, showing their commitment and conviction toward a player they were high on during free agency. The former New York Giant is a true run-defender who will match up well next to Brown at the five-technique and 4i.

Carolina is also keeping Shy Tuttle around despite an underwhelming 2023 season at nose tackle. He must improve his play to finish out the entirety of his contract. Emerging behind him are Nick Thurman and LaBryan Ray, who proved to be effective in generating movement at the line of scrimmage and getting pressure on the quarterback from the interior. 

Sixth-round selection Jaden Crumedy rounds out an overall steady, yet average group outside of its stud defensive lineman. The former Mississippi State Bulldog provides quickness and flexibility at the line of scrimmage, but his ceiling may be capped as an older rookie. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him on the practice squad at some point during the season. 

The Panthers did a great job of adding pieces to the defense that are catered to stopping the run. The pass rush will likely take a hit with the losses of Brian Burns and Frankie Luvu, though Ejiro Evero’s unit is one of the most disciplined in the league and should stay that way heading into the season.

Carolina Panthers OL (9)

  • Taylor Moton, Ikem Ekwonu, Austin Corbett, Robert Hunt, Damien Lewis, Brady Christensen, Yosh Nijman, Cade Mays, Chandler Zavala.

Carolina’s offensive line was a significant area of need heading into the 2024 offseason. The unit showed no cohesive continuity up front due to injuries at both guard spots. Dan Morgan made it a priority to add concrete walls at the left and right guard positions. The general manager has seemingly accomplished that, signing Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis to deals that combine for over $200 million.

This forced Austin Corbett to move from guard to center, where he is the projected starter heading into the year. Brady Christensen is slated as a quality depth piece who can play any of the five offensive line spots alongside Cade Mays and Chandler Zavala.

The Panthers also signed another spot starter and tackle depth with Yosh Nijman. Heading into training camp, the overall depth across the protection has improved significantly.

At offensive tackle, Taylor Moton remains the steady presence, as has been the case since his first full season as a starter in 2018. Third-year left tackle Ikem Ekwonu enters a critical juncture following an underwhelming sophomore campaign. He's the starter with a short leash and must prove he can be a quality long-term blindside enforcer.

Carolina Panthers TEs (4)

  • Tommy Tremble, Ian Thomas, Ja’Tavion Sanders, Stephen Sullivan

Despite the fourth-round selection of Ja’Tavion Sanders, this is a group that remains a significant question mark heading into the 2024 season. It feels like the biggest thing that is lacking is the minimal production they’ve produced in their respective careers. However, the fact that Carolina didn’t add a veteran through free agency shows their confidence.

Tommy Tremble’s breakout season is bound to happen this season, right? The athletic tight end known for his red zone production and blocking is entering the final year of his rookie year. He'll be looking for a big payday should the former third-round pick have a productive season in Dave Canales’ offense. 

Ian Thomas remains on the roster. His adequate skills as a run blocker allowed him to stick around. Canales seems to be high on him heading into the summer break. It would be quite ironic if the seventh-year tight end could become a steady No. 2 option.

Sanders projects as Carolina’s “F” move tight end, meaning he’ll be used in motions, shifts, out wide, and as a big slot receiver. He is likely to be the team’s true receiving threat at the position and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him evolve into a starter late into the season.

I have Stephen Sullivan making the 53-man roster. This is due to having a similar skill set as his rookie counterpart and the flashes displayed in contested situations during the 2023 season.