NFL 2018 power rankings countdown No. 12: Carolina Panthers
/ Packers

By Keegan Jackish

A preview of the Carolina Panthers ahead of the 2018 season.

Check back every day for a new 2018 team preview in this year’s NFL power rankings countdown.

Today’s team is the Carolina Panthers.

Keegan’s highest rated player: Luke Kuechly, linebacker

Biggest strength: Front seven

Biggest weakness: Wide receiver

Best offseason move: Signing Dontari Poe

Worst offseason move: Not replacing Marty Hurney at general manager

Game to circle on calendar: Week 15, vs. New Orleans

Breakout candidate: Donte Jackson, cornerback

Key players in contract years: C.J. Anderson, Cameron Artis-Payne, Devin Funchess, Ryan Kalil, Daryl Williams, Julius Peppers, Thomas Davis, Mike Adams, and Colin Jones

Cam Newton will be hit or miss most games this season, and as a result the Panthers’ offense won’t live up to its full potential. Luckily, the Panthers’ defense will be able to keep them in most games, but Newton’s inconsistency will be a concern.

Christian McCaffrey didn’t live up to the high expectations set for him last year, but don’t be surprised if he rebounds in his sophomore season. The addition of C.J. Anderson will help this backfield, but it would have been nice if they kept Jonathan Stewart around.

Drafting D.J. Moore in the first round added much-needed depth to the receiving corps, but they will be thin at the position if Moore isn’t a contributor from day one. By far the most intriguing player in this receiving corps is Curtis Samuel, who has impeccable speed. Hopefully the team can salvage what’s left in Torrey...

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