Position preview: Tight ends


The Panthers know what they're getting in the consistently productive leader of the group, Greg Olsen, but who will emerge behind him?

Between the newly acquired free agents and those returning to the team, the Panthers will have some intriguing options at tight end heading into the 2014 campaign.


Greg Olsen
Led Panthers with career-high 73 receptions last season, breaking team record of 69 he set in 2012. ... Compiled 816 receiving yards and six touchdowns. ... Ranks in the top 10 amongst all tight ends in catches (sixth), receiving yards (eighth), and receiving touchdowns (eighth) since entering NFL in 2007. ... Used in all situations and rarely comes off the field. ... Will once again be relied on in the passing game.

Richie Brockel
Versatile Brockel enters fourth year with the Panthers after seeing time at tight end, full back, and special teams last season. ... Played in 16 games, rushing once for one yard and recording one catch for 12 yards.

Brandon Williams
Signed as a free agent last offseason and played nine games, notching one special teams tackle. ... Athletic specimen played basketball at Portland Bible College. ... Spent two seasons at Oregon but did not play as a senior after being diagnosed with a narrow spinal canal and bulging disc in his back.


Ed Dickson
Acquired as an unrestricted free agent after four years with the Baltimore Ravens. ...  Started 14 games in 2013 replacing an injured Dennis Pita and recorded 25 catches for 273 yards and one touchdown. ... Career totals include 111 receptions, 1,178 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.

Mike McNeill
Acquired as a free agent after playing in 28 games during three years with the St. Louis Rams. ... Recorded five catches for 36 yards in previous two seasons while serving primarily as blocking tight end. ... Set school record at Nebraska for most career receptions by a tight end with 82.

D.C. Jefferson
Seventh-round draft choice of the Arizona Cardinals played in four games as a rookie in 2013 before being waived. ... Signed with Carolina as a free agent this offseason after brief stint on Panthers' practice squad. ... Started 43 of 50 games played at Rutgers after switching from quarterback to tight end during freshman year.

Written by Digital Media Intern Steven Normington

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