Panthers news: Stephon Gilmore, Jonathon Brooks, Jalen Coker, sleeper pick

Examining the latest Carolina Panthers news and rumors from around the media.
Jonathon Brooks
Jonathon Brooks / Jay Janner/American-Statesman / USA
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Jalen Coker's roster chances

Undrafted free agents have more work to do than most. They are starting from the bottom and must make an immediate impression in pursuit of making practice squads or the 53-man roster. It's challenging, but not impossible by any stretch of the imagination.

The Carolina Panthers made Jalen Coker a high-priority target once the draft concluded. After the wide receiver left a big impact during his time at Holy Cross, many analysts believed he'd be taken somewhere between Rounds 5-7. As it turned out, he didn't hear his name called, but Dan Morgan got him into the organization thanks in no small part to a $225,000 guaranteed salary.

Coker's slick route-running, assured hands, and ability to separate despite his lack of genuine top-end speed make him an intriguing addition to the wideout room. This is a sentiment echoed by Ryan Fowler from The Bleacher Report, who named the player as someone who could make the team with a smooth integration.

"Jalen Coker was one of the premier wideouts among lower-level prospects. He figures to open eyes in Carolina this summer. After being invited to both the Shrine Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine, Coker remained a common topic of conversation surrounding Day 3 pass-catchers. While he didn't hear his name called during the draft, Coker enters Carolina with an excellent opportunity to prove why the attention surrounding his game in the predraft process wasn't a fluke. Coker's knack for winning on high-leverage downs gives him an excellent floor as a prospect looking to crack the roster."

There could be an opportunity for Coker to unseat Terrace Marshall Jr. for the No. 5 wide receiver position. Everyone is starting with a clean slate under new head coach Dave Canales. Making an imposing start and taking advantage of every rep throughout the summer should stand the unheralded prospect in good stead.