The NFL draft begins on Thursday, so here's a breakdown the Carolina Panthers depth chart to give you a better picture of the team needs after free agency.
I'll take a look at the offense today and the defense on Wednesday.
To be clear, this isn't a depth chart provided by the team. This is me filling in the blanks with the talent the team had after last season and added in free agency.
It surely will change once the draft picks are added, but at least it gives a snapshot of how the team looks and where it has the most to gain.
Let's get to the offense:
Projected starter: Cam Newton
Draft need: Before the addition of Joe Webb I felt the Panthers needed to look at a mobile quarterback in the late rounds to potentially groom behind Newton. Not necessary now.
Projected starter: DeAngelo Williams
Draft need: The Panthers already have too much money tied up in Williams and Stewart, and they want to get a look at Barner this season. A running back for this team is not worth a draft pick. They have bigger needs at other positions.
Projected starter: Mike Tolbert
Draft need: Might be worth a late-round pick to add quality depth at this position and give the team flexibility if they want to part with Tolbert's salary in the next year or two.
Draft need: If one of the top five or six wide receivers is on the board at No. 28 the Panthers likely will take him. They won't have a shot at Clemson's Sammy Watkins or Texas A&M's Mike Evans. But if Oregon State's Brandin Cooks, LSU's Odell Beckham or Southern California's Marqise Lee is there he would be hard to pass up with the need for a young, dynamic receiver. After that the value in the second round might be just as good. Plus the Panthers want to see what youngsters Underwood, King and McNutt can do.
Projected starter: Greg Olsen
Draft need: The additions of Dickson and McNeill in free agency pretty much shut the door on a tight end being in the draft plans.
Projected starter: Ryan Kalil
Backups: Brian Folkerts
Draft need: Maybe a mid-to-late round pick on a player who could back up at guard and center.
Draft need: Like the wide receiver spot, if one of the top four fell to 28, he would be hard to pass on with the need to find a replacement for retired Jordan Gross. Auburn's Greg Robinson and Texas A&M's Jake Matthews will go in the top 10 picks, probably the top five. So the Panthers would have to bank on Michigan's Taylor Lewan or Notre Dame's Zack Martin to fall to them. That is a long shot. Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio also might be an option if the Panthers are convinced his knees aren't an issue. Otherwise, the value in the second or maybe even third round might be worth the wait.
Projected starter: Amini Silatolu
Draft need: Carolina remains high on Silatolu, a second-round pick in 2012 who started 15 games as a rookie and was the starter last season before suffering a torn ACL in the fourth game. They also want to find out what Kugbila, a fourth-round pick a year ago, can do. He spent last season on injured reserve. If there are any concerns at this position, veteran Travelle Wharton remains unsigned. Not worth a draft pick here.
Draft need: Williams and Scott started here a year ago before knee injuries, the worst to Williams who was lost for the year in the opener with a torn ACL. Nate Chandler stepped in and did a nice job, but the Panthers like him more at tackle. Regardless, there are plenty of capable bodies that Carolina doesn't need to spend a draft pick here.
Projected starter: Garry Williams, Nate Chandler or Byron Bell
Backups: Williams, Chandler or Bell
Draft need: Williams has started 13 games at right tackle, and Chandler was being groomed to play there. Depending on what happens between Bell and Chandler at left tackle, the loser of that battle could move back to the right side. If Carolina takes a tackle with the first pick to fill a big need, it will be one that can anchor the left side but possibly spend a year on the right if he's not ready. Otherwise, you might see Carolina wait and take a player to groom at tackle in the second or third round.