Carolina Panthers
Donte Jackson is a great athlete but does that mean he can become a great football player? We are about to find out. What else is on tap for the Carolina Panthers heading into training camp? (Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports)

Is any team more inconsistent than the Carolina Panthers. From bad to good and so on. It’s a neverending cycle. The Panthers didn’t make the playoffs in 2018 which means they probably will somehow in 2019. Cam Newton is the leader of the rollercoaster Panthers. He plays the role pretty well. From MVP to terrible to good again. That’s Cam for you. You never know which guy you’re getting week to week. Let’s take a ride on the rollercoaster to see what the Panthers have for us as they open up training camp in 2019.

3 Position Battles To Watch:

Tackle: Taylor Moton, Daryl Williams, Greg Little

I should clarify that two of the three guys will start. Taylor Moton and Daryl Williams are the incumbents at left and right tackle respectively. Greg Little comes in as a rookie from Ole Miss. Little has a ton of talent and is a polished pass protector. I wouldn’t say he’s very tough and nasty. I’m not sure that part will ever improve enough to make him elite. Having Little at left tackle and moving Moton to right wouldn’t be totally surprising later in the season. Moton can play guard at a high level too.

Wide Receiver: Jarius Wright, Chris Hogan, Curtis Samuel, Torrey Smith, Terry Godwin, DeAndrew White

Remember when the Panthers thought Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess were going to wreck the league? What a horrible concept that was. Two tall receivers that can’t separate with an inaccurate quarterback throwing the ball. Who the hell thought that would be a good idea? The Panthers are on a better track. DJ Moore looks promising after a solid rookie season. Carolina still needs more dependable weapons. I’m still a Curtis Samuel believer despite the fact that I think he belongs at running back. Chris Hogan is intriguing coming over from New England. I’d like to see if he was a product of New England. Torrey Smith is washed up. Terry Godwin is a nice dart throw. He could help in the return game too.

Defensive Tackle: Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Kawaan Short, Vernon Butler, Kyle Love

NASTY! This defensive line is scary. It’s the heart of the Panthers team. How many teams in the league can say they have a better collective group than this? Gerald McCoy can still bring it at a high level. Kawaan Short is very underrated and continues to ball out every year. Dontari Poe can chew up the middle of any field. Vernon Butler has a great man to learn from because he comes in a similar mold. I love this defensive line. It’s not the youngest group out there but it’s still a dominant one.

Ready To Breakout: Donte Jackson

Donte Jackson looked like a chicken with his head cut off last year. Jackson ran around the field without a plan. He got beat a lot too. Hopefully, Jackson spent this offseason perfecting his craft. The tools are there. Super speed, quickness, and agility. Does that translate into an elite corner? We’re about to find out. His LSU pedigree has to help, right?

Rookie To Watch: Brian Burns

I already mentioned how crazy that defensive line is. Brian Burns is the number one edge rusher with this group. He’s an important piece. Be Julius Peppers. That’s what Burns has to be to make this defense click at an elite level. Bruce Irvin, Mario Addison, and Bryan Cox are okay players. Burns looks like Vic Beasley who the Panthers know well from inside the division. Be Julius Peppers. Become a sponge and take everything from that guy. That needs to be drilled in his head.

Fantasy Sleeper: Elijah Holyfield

Elijah Holyfield went undrafted largely because of a bad combine. I couldn’t believe how slow he is. I saw a powerful back with some short-area quickness. Apparently, that also means he has no speed. Let’s look past that for a second. The Panthers plan to reduce Chrisitan McCaffrey’s workload in 2019. What if Holyfield comes in an establishes himself as the shortyardage guy? I wouldn’t say it’s impossible. That would be detrimental towards McCaffrey’s fantasy value. I think Holyfield is a legit handcuff to him despite his undrafted status. The guy I watched at Georgia has talent. I really want to see him in the preseason.