By Keith Alrick @Kramerica100 on August 14, 2014
Since no one cares who wins or loses, the NFL preseason is all about watching individual players. The games help decide who will start and who will even make the team. It is also the first chance to see the new rookie class at the NFL level. Here are the five Carolina Panthers players that you need to watch in Week 2 of the preseason.
Byron Bell appears to have the left tackle spot in his grasp. Knowing who will be the replacement for Jordan Gross is nice, but it doesn't make it any less scary. Bell has never been a left tackle at this level and will need all the reps he can get this preseason.
Brandon Williams was one of the bright spots for the Panthers in Week 1 of the preseason. The second-year tight end caught three passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. Williams surprised everyone last season when he made the 53-man roster. This year he is surprising everyone even more with his play on the field. He has good size and with the lack of talent at the skill positions for Carolina, he has a chance to make an impact.
The Panthers' second-round pick, Kony Ealy, has looked very good so far in training camp and the first week of preseason. It doesn't seem likely that Greg Hardy will be in Carolina long term, which makes the development of Ealy very important. He showed some flashes of his talent in the first game and Carolina should unleash him some more this week.
In terms of pure excitement, Kelvin Benjamin has to be high on this list. His 29-yard touchdown catch in the preseason opener has single-handedly given Panthers fans hope about the wide receiver position. But it's more than just that catch. It's his 6-foot-5 frame and ridiculous hands. Benjamin has lived up to his first-round selection so far, and will be a player to watch this week as well as throughout the season.
There aren't many weeks where Cam Newton won't be the most important player to watch on Carolina. His importance to this offense is undeniable. Newton sat out the preseason opener but has been medically cleared to play this week. All eyes will be on Cam when he takes the field for the first time since his offseason ankle surgery.
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