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Carolina Panthers

Three Questions: Cornerbacks

CORNERBACKS PREVIEW:Josh Norman's departure has placed a lot of attention on Carolina's cornerback situation. General manager Dave Gettleman invested heavily in the position during the 2016 NFL Draft, but there are several veterans looking to stake their claim.


1. Who are the starters?

This is one of the biggest questions facing the Panthers entering training camp. Bene Benwikere has been in Carolina longer than any other corner on the roster, and he's shown promise in his first two years. But he's coming off a season-ending leg injury, and at this point it's unclear whether he'll line up outside or in the slot. Veteran Robert McClain, a late-season signing in 2015, started throughout the postseason and is back to prove he can handle that responsibility in 2016. Rookies James Bradberry and Daryl Worley possess the size and ball skills the Panthers look for, and they'll have to adapt quickly to push themselves forward in the competition.

2. Will all the draft picks play?

The Panthers selected three cornerbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft – the aforementioned Bradberry (second round), Worley (third round) and Zack Sanchez, a ball-hawking nickel corner taken in the fifth round. Bradberry and Worley are battling for playing time on the outside, but the smaller Sanchez is eyeing an opportunity in the slot. He'll have to show he can handle the physicality at this level when the pads come on in training camp.

3. Will Johnson stick?

Last week, the Panthers added Leonard Johnson to the mix – a veteran cornerback with 52 games and 20 starts under his belt. The former Buccaneer and Patriot has spent considerable time at nickel, arriving as one of the most experienced players in Carolina's young secondary. He hopes to demonstrate the value of that experience in Spartanburg.

View photos of Carolina's cornerbacks in action.

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