By Bryan Palmese @BryanPalmese on May 29, 2014
Cam Newton has four new weapons at his disposal. A rookie, and three veterans are looking to help move the chains for the Panthers. Here is how the four newest arrivals rank amongst the holdovers from the 2013 season.
Tiquan Underwood has an intriguing blend of size at 6-foot-1 and blazes a 4.31 40-time. An immediate replacement for Ted Ginn, Jr., Underwood will be a good depth receiver who has potential to put up a couple of 100-yard games given the chance. He will also have an opportunity to contribute in the return game as well. Worst-case scenario he surpasses Domenik Hixon’s 2013 totals of 56 yards and one touchdown.
Jason Avant is as sure-handed of a receiver as there is in the NFL. He thrived as the No. 3 WR in Philadelphia and will likely do the same in Carolina. At 31 years old, Avant will bring his veteran experience to a team lacking that at the receiver position. Though he can’t replicate Ginn’s special teams work, Avant will equal or surpass his on-field production. Giving Cam Newton a solid third down target will be a welcomed addition.
Jerricho Cotchery has always been a great receiver who can be counted on for the clutch catch. In New York and Pittsburgh, Cotchery was always a sought-after target with a nose for the end zone. He has always been a complementary receiver, and he will continue to be that reliable source in Carolina. Cotchery will secure the No. 2 receiver role and look to build off of the impressive ten touchdown season he had a year ago.
Kelvin Benjamin landed in a perfect place to dominate the league for the next decade. His blend of ridiculous size and athleticism will make Benjamin one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets. Big frame? Check. Big red zone target? Check. Decent speed? Check. Benjamin showed as the season progressed that he still has a lot of upside and could thrive in the spotlight. He's a potential offensive ROY candidate.
Most fans expect a wide receiver to be the top receiver in 2014, but Greg Olsen is the top receiving threat for Carolina. He was the No. 1 receiver for Carolina in 2013 with 816 receiving yards and six receiving TDs. The Panthers’ revamped offense has a lot of new faces, so look for Newton to rely on Olsen down the seam and in the red zone. Olsen has sure hands and has been one of the more agile receiving tight ends for the past five seasons.
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