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Grill Bill: Cutdown day edition

180901_Efe_for_GB

@RichKingston73 Determination of Efe has seen off Daeshon. Thoughts?

You know how during the draft you hear the word “upside” over and over and over again? That and sure, determination, are why Efe Obada has gone from abandoned on the streets of London to a 53-man roster.

Make no mistake, Obada's game still has plenty of room to grow. In that regard, he’s the defense’s version of tight end Ian Thomas. Obada has the build you’re looking for at his position and he’s flashed enough to make his potential intriguing enough.

The Panthers believe Obada is far enough along to help them now as opposed to putting him on the practice squad for another season. Plus, he would’ve had to clear waivers and that was a risk they clearly didn’t want to take.

As far as Hall goes, he never seemed to show much of a spark and he needs to improve his upper-body strength.

With that said …

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@PantherTown88 What are the odds you think Hall gets claimed before we can put him on PS?

Probably pretty good. Teams are always looking for long pass rushers. Perhaps that spark will happen elsewhere for him.

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@WesleyWarren5 How many players, like Efe Obada, have gone through the international program and made NFL rosters?

There were none before Saturday. Now it's Obada and Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata, who was a rugby star in Australia.

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@CheetoPutin Will Daryl Williams and/or Amini Silatolu be placed on IR designated to return? If so, which players cut are the top candidates to be brought back? Or will they look at the waiver wire? #GrillBill

I think those whispers a few weeks back of Williams being destined to begin the year on injured reserve were a bit misplaced. The hope has always been that he could avoid missing at least half of the season and his rehab has been going very well.

So I don’t see Williams or Silatolu heading to IR, and while I know many of you could disagree with this assessment, my guess is the Panthers think they're OK with their depth on the line after trading for Corey Robinson.

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@dchk1301 Is Robinson expected to start at tackle for the first few weeks at least?

It's possible but “expected” may be a bit aggressive. Robinson has just a few days to learn a new system, but at least it’s somewhat easier for tackles to do something like that than it is for centers and guards.

Because so many of their linemen can play multiple positions, we may see the Panthers get creative at tackle this week. And starting Wednesday, those injury reports will tell us a lot.

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@PBNJTysinger _Surprised Doss got cut. Do you see us picking up more than 1 corner after cuts? Little thin in the secondary

Starters-wise, they’re better than they were a year ago. I’d rather have Donte Jackson and James Bradberry in Year 3 than Daryl Worley and James Bradberry in Year 2. But it's fair to say depth at cornerback is the biggest concern right now.

After Bradberry and Jackson, you have just Captain Munnerlyn and Corn Elder. So yes, I could see them making room for someone who was just cut or even bringing back Lorenzo Doss if he clears waivers.

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Website submission from Jack in Cary, NC: As a UNC fan, I’m excited about Andre Smith. If he can stay healthy, he can play. Thoughts?

That’s exactly why the Panthers drafted him and it’s what they saw through OTAs, minicamp and training camp.

Unfortunately, the injury bug hit Smith again while covering a kickoff in the preseason opener, but he showed some good stuff in his return at Pittsburgh. If active, he could provide some immediate help on special teams.

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@dmaniscalco5 What was the reasoning behind cutting barner? He did well and he out performed CAP in my opinion. Plus he plays special teams and he brings championship experience with him from philly. why does Carolina hold on to CAP ? He takes up a spot someone who deserves it. Like barner

If the Panthers really needed a returner, this decision may have been harder. But they have Damiere Byrd, who can do more than return. I don’t think he was ever in much of a danger of not making the roster, by the way.

Artis-Payne has his limitations, but he's a downhill runner who can help you in case of injury. And while the Panthers are morphing away from being a traditional power run team, they still want to keep their options open.

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Email from Ronnie: Is Taylor Heinicke really good enough to be our main backup?

There aren’t 32 good starting quarterbacks, so finding really good backups isn’t all that easy.

I understand the concerns about Heinicke. You’d prefer he were about three inches taller and had a stronger arm. But he has good vision, makes quick decisions and fits Norv Turner’s system.

Certainly, you can point to the 2017 seasons for Nick Foles and Case Keenum to argue the importance of backups. But what were those guys last year at this time? Failed backups.

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@rocklobster88 _What is the history of rookies making the team? Maybe my memory is wrong but doesn't feel like 8 rookies have made the team in years past

I don’t think it’s a record or anything like that but it is ideal.

By year, here are the draft picks/undrafted guys on the current roster:

2018 – 8

2017 – 6

2016 – 3

2015 – 6

That means 23 of the 53, or 43 percent of the roster, is made up from the past four rookie classes. That’s how you want to build.

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