Panthers ready for rookie minicamp

CHARLOTTE – Head coach Ron Rivera can't wait to see the Panthers' draft picks on the practice field – especially their first-round pick – when the team's two-day rookie minicamp begins Friday.

"I'm real excited because it's an opportunity to watch our five draft picks and see what they're all about, see how they handle things so we can start projecting where we think they'll fit," Rivera said. "Shaq unfortunately will have to go back, so we're going to really have to focus in on him for two days."

Linebacker Shaq Thompson, the No. 25 overall pick in last week's draft, will return to the University of Washington for about a month after the minicamp to finish classes. But Thompson, along with wide receiver Devin Funchess (second round), offensive tackle Daryl Williams (fourth round), linebacker David Mayo (fifth round) and running back Cameron Artis-Payne (fifth round) will make their debuts in Panthers gear Friday and Saturday.

They won't be alone.

All told, 54 players will to take part in the minicamp, including 10 undrafted rookie free agents, 35 invited tryout players and four qualifying veterans.

TRYOUT PLAYERS
Pos Name Ht Wt Age Exp College Hometown
DT Chas Alecxih
6-4 291 26 1 Pittsburgh
Lancaster, Pa.
G Zach Allen 6-2 328 24 1 N.C. State Tifton, Ga.
S C.J. Barnett
6-0 204 24 1 Ohio State Dayton, Ohio
LB Jamie Blatnick
6-3 263 25 1 Oklahoma State Celina, Texas
OT Daniel Blitch
6-5 346 23 R Charlotte
Clermont, Ga.
QB Chris Bonner 6-6 237 21 R Colorado State-Pueblo
San Diego, Calif.
S Detrick Bonner 6-0 206 23 R Virginia Tech
McDonough, Ga.
LB Xavius Boyd
6-2 239 24 1 Western Kentucky
St. Petersburg, Fla.
WR Avius Capers
5-9 200 22 R Johnson C. Smith Charlotte, N.C.
TE Jamie Childers
6-4 250 26 1 Coastal Carolina
Mount Pleasant, S.C.
LS Charlie Coggins
6-1 218 23 R East Carolina
Albemarle, N.C.
DE Rakim Cox
6-4 268 24 1 Villanova San Diego, Calif.
OT Anthony Dima
6-6 290 24 1 Massachusetts
Centereach, N.Y.
LS Grant Donovan
6-1 231 23 R Louisville
Louisville, Ky.
LB Jake Doughty 6-0 239 23 1 Utah State Draper, Utah
T Devin Flowers 6-2 320 21 R South Carolina State Charlotte, N.C.
G Josh Hendershot
6-2 292 23 R Toledo
Newark, Ohio
QB Cole Jaeschke 6-1 216 23 R Upper Iowa Moorland, Iowa
WR Matt James 6-5 211 23 R Wake Forest
Raleigh, N.C.
WR Justin Kenyon
6-2 207 24 1 Belhaven
Chapel Hill, N.C.
G Jordan McCray
6-3 322 22 1 Central Florida Miami, Fla.
DT Troy Moore
6-2 291 23 R Sacred Heart
Worcester, Mass.
T Kyle Nunn 6-5 294 26 1 South Carolina Sumter, S.C.
C Ronald Patrick
6-1 308 23 1 South Carolina
Cocoa, Fla.
C Bryce Redman
6-1 297 23 R Houston
Longview, Texas
LB Etienne Sabino
6-2 247 24 1 Ohio State North Miami Beach, Fla.
RB Ricky Seale 5-9 203 23 R Stanford Escondido, Calif.
CB Jordan Sullen
6-0 202 24 1 Toledo
New Orleans, La.
TE Zachary Swanson
6-6 263 23 R Virginia
Katy, Texas
CB Corey Trim
5-10 174 22 R Louisiana Lafayette Baton Rouge, La.
G Isaiah Tuiasosopo
6-2 316 21 R Austin Peay
Pago Pago, Amer. Samoa
TE Dallas Walker
6-5 231 27 1 Western Michigan
Madison, Miss.
FB Lee Ward
5-11 246 23 R Stanford Chesterfield, Mo.
CB Ryan White
5-10 197 23 1 Auburn Tallahassee, Fla.
DE Jovontay Williams
6-2 258 25 R Johnson C. Smith Stone Mountain, Ga.

"There are some undrafted free agents that we really want to take a good, long look at," Rivera said of the group, which includes Clemson cornerback Garry Peters and James Madison safety Dean Marlowe. "There's a safety and a corner that were priority free agents for us that we went out and really made a big push to bring here. They agreed to come here, so I'm excited to see them."

Four players who were on the Panthers' practice squad last season – wide receiver Marcus Lucas, tight end Kevin Greene, safety Kimario McFadden and cornerback Lou Young – are eligible to participate in the minicamp.

The majority of the minicamp roster will consist of the invited tryout players. Last season, five of the 35 tryout players eventually spent some time on the 90-man roster, and offensive tackle David Foucault and defensive tackle Micanor Regis are still on it. The 90-man roster currently has four open spots.

"Last season we had at least 22 rookies and first-year players who were involved with our roster – about 15 who were directly on the 53-man roster and nine who started for us at one time or another," Rivera said. "You have to create opportunities, and that's what we're doing right now."

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