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Carolina Panthers

Panthers release first depth chart of 2023


SPARTANBURG – With their first preseason game against the Jets right around the corner, the Panthers released their first depth chart of 2023 on Tuesday.

And there are a lot of new names across the board.

Bryce Young, the team's rookie quarterback and first overall pick from this year's draft, is officially the first-string quarterback. It's no surprise, as head coach Frank Reich declared so on the first day of this year's training camp.

He'll have plenty of new weapons to utilize in the offense, with free agent additions DJ Chark Jr. and Adam Thielen and rookie Jonathan Mingo listed as first-team receivers, Hayden Hurst at starting tight end, and Miles Sanders leading the running backs. Chuba Hubbard and Raheem Blackshear follow Sanders on the first three depth chart spots.

The starting offensive line remains largely intact from last season's starting group, with Ikem Ekwonu at left tackle, Brady Christensen at left guard, Bradley Bozeman at center, and Taylor Moton at right tackle. The only adjustment is at right guard, where second-year Cade Mays is slotted in as Austin Corbett remains on PUP while recovering from an ACL injury.

The Panthers' first-team defense will look quite similar to last year personnel-wise, highlighted by the return of two-time Pro Bowler Brian Burns at outside linebacker in new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero's 3-4 base defense. Newcomer Justin Houston is listed as the starting outside linebacker opposite Burns, with Yetur Gross-Matos and Marquis Haynes Sr. behind them.

Derrick Brown returns to anchor the defensive line, joined by Marquan McCall at first-team defensive tackle and former New Orleans Saint Shy Tuttle along the starting defensive front.

New safety Vonn Bell joins Xavier Woods in the defensive backfield, while Jaycee Horn and Donte Jackson retain their first-team cornerback spots with Keith Taylor Jr. and CJ Henderson behind them on the depth chart. Jeremy Chinn is listed as the first-team nickel cornerback, reflecting his new role in Evero's defense, with Stantley Thomas-Oliver III behind him.

Veteran linebacker Shaq Thompson and Frankie Luvu will line up at linebacker on the first defense, with Kamu Grugier-Hill and Deion Jones behind them on the depth chart.

Blackshear retains his role as the first-team return man on kickoffs and punts, a position he assumed last season. Laviska Shenault Jr. and Shi Smith are listed behind Blackshear on kickoffs, while Damiere Byrd and Smith are the next two up on punts, though Byrd is expected to miss extended time with a hamstring injury.

Specialists Eddy Piñeiro, Johnny Hekker, and JJ Jansen will be the Panthers' kicker, punter, and long snapper, respectively, this season, maintaining continuity on the special teams unit from last year. They brought in kicker Matthew Wright on Tuesday and he's slotted behind Piñeiro on the chart.

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