Ranking the top 10 Carolina Panthers players on the active roster in 2023

Jeremy Chinn
Jeremy Chinn / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
7 of 12

No. 6: Johnny Hekker - Carolina Panthers P

Hidden from some of the offseason signings from last season was the acquisition of former long-time Los Angeles Rams punter, Johnny Hekker.

I can't emphasize enough how important a punter is to your football team. When you have someone that can flip the field, down punts inside the 20 at a consistent rate, and keep kicks hanging as long as possible, that is a great advantage to have.

Hekker, entering his age-33 season, can still do all of this very well and has shown no signs of decline. The former Super Bowl champion led the NFL in punts downed inside the 20, and was either in the top five or 10 of almost every punting statistic, per Pro Football Reference.

Not only that, Hekker has become a leader within the Carolina Panthers locker room in the short time he has been with the organization. That right there says a lot about the type of player and teammate the veteran is.

Having Eddy Pineiro and Hekker as your kicker and punter will lead to a consistent special teams unit, one that showed great improvement last season under Chris Tabor. This should continue in 2023.