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Three Questions: Tight Ends

TIGHT ENDS PREVIEW: Two-time Pro Bowler Greg Olsen, who led the Panthers in catches and receiving yards last year, headlines this group with his consistent level of play week after week. Ed Dickson enters training camp as the No. 2 option for the third consecutive year. Two rookies have joined the mix, with Carolina selecting Beau Sandland in the seventh round and adding Braxton Deaver as an undrafted rookie free agent.


1. Will Olsen reach 1,000 yards for the third consecutive year?

By posting 1,104 receiving yards in 2015, Olsen became just the seventh tight end in NFL history to record 1,000 yards in back-to-back years. If he surpasses 1,000 in 2016, he'll be the first tight end to ever do it three years in a row. It all goes to show just how good Olsen has been for Carolina. He never comes off the field and has a knack for coming through when quarterback Cam Newton needs him most. The Panthers' dynamic group of wide receivers could eat into the tight end's targets this year, but Olsen has a real shot at an unprecedented individual achievement.

2. Will Dickson get more or less opportunities?

Dickson hasn't missed a game in two years with the Panthers, totaling 27 receptions for 236 yards and three touchdowns. The six-year veteran has embraced his role as a blocker willing to do the dirty work. With such a loaded offense, that will likely continue in 2016. But Dickson's touchdown grab against Atlanta last year showed he can make a play when his number is called.

3. How will the rookies fit in?

During OTAs and minicamp, Sandland flashed impressive route-running and smooth pass-catching ability. Deaver was a quick study who caught the coaches' eye with his relentless effort. Both have something to offer, and the padded practices at training camp will reveal if either is ready to contribute in 2016.

View photos of Carolina's tight ends in action.

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