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Pieces are in place for offense entering 2018


General manager Marty Hurney was rightfully thrilled when running back C.J. Anderson put pen to paper Monday afternoon.

The Panthers had just secured a proven complement to 2017 first-rounder Christian McCaffrey, and in doing so, crossed off an important item on their shopping list.

Take a look at Carolina's offense right now and you'll see all the pieces are in place for 2018. First-year offensive coordinator Norv Turner should feel quite good about the unit that's been assembled around quarterback Cam Newton.

Let's review the to-do list for the offense this offseason and see how Hurney addressed it.

More speed & explosiveness at WR

The Panthers hit this head-on with the selection of D.J. Moore in the first round. Moore is a playmaker personified with his ability to create after the catch.

Torrey Smith, acquired from the Eagles via trade, possesses the vertical speed that Carolina needs to stretch defenses. He also brings a necessary veteran presence to a young receiver room. Free agent acquisition Jarius Wright is an option capable of creating separation from the slot.

Add all that to big-bodied 'X' receiver Devin Funchess and 2017 second-rounder Curtis Samuel, and the Panthers have a little bit of everything at the position.

Backup TE

We've wondered if Carolina would draft a developmental tight end behind Greg Olsen for a few years now. Hurney pulled the trigger with the selection of Ian Thomas in the fourth round (a pick that's drawn praise across the board). While raw, Thomas has all the tools to eventually grow into a complete tight end. In the meantime, those physical tools should allow him to contribute in spots as a rookie, and that'll be needed following Ed Dickson's departure.

Power RB

This became a need when the Panthers parted ways with Jonathan Stewart, and the aforementioned signing of Anderson perfectly fits the bill. A former Pro Bowler fresh off his first 1,000-yard season, Anderson is still just 27 years old, and his running style provides a nice change of pace with the quick and shifty McCaffrey.

Left guard

The Panthers acquired Jeremiah Sirles (who proved to be a reliable backup for Minnesota) in free agency but didn't end up drafting one (although they brought in three undrafted free agent guards). All that said, this spot is there for Taylor Moton to take. After a year of learning and waiting in the wings, the hope is that Moton settles in at left guard to replace Andrew Norwell. The smart and powerful 6-foot-5, 325-pounder was taken in the second round for a reason. But Carolina has options, with Tyler Larsen and Amini Silatolu also in the mix.

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