Players have their ups and downs, just like stocks. Right now is a
good time to trend upward if you want to make a roster. Maybe I'll make
this a feature after each preseason game.
Here's who I see moving up and down, and why.
Richie Brockel - head coach Ron Rivera singled out Brockel, a solid
blocker, for versatility at TE, move TE, and FB. People have forgotten
about Brockel every year so far, but I guarantee you he makes this
roster if healthy. He's Nick Goings, but with the one trick touchdown
instead of the one good rushing year. It will be tough going between he
and Brandon Williams for the 3rd TE job.
Mike Mitchell - another guy Rivera singled out, Mitchell appears to
have earned the starting SS job for now. He has the physical tooks, and
so far, it's been applied correctly on the field.
Armanti Edwards - it's intriguing that Edwards, who was initially
drafted to be a slot receiver and returner, is flourishing with both of
those jobs taken. It would've been ideal to see have seen him take at
least one of those roles before the team put money into other jobs, but
oddly enough, he's becoming a solid outside receiver.
Ed Kugbila is just an easy target. He's very able, and apparently
Carolina's willing to let him have a shot at starting now. Players
don't choose to be hurt. But, Kugbila is "a week away" and there's a
game this week. So it's three weeks to the season. If Carolina wants
to see Kugbila, they've gotta get a quick look. If they want him to get
game experience, it's tough to say
DJ Moore - it's tough to call him out for not starting, and after that
it gets muddy. Moore probably does end up as the nickel unless they
choose to throw Captain Munnerlyn inside for nickel duty, in which they
probably pull one of the Joshes in. I don't know if that makes Moore
expendable, because he's good depth. And I can't begrudge him for not
beating out Munnerlyn, an incumbent. But it's going to be tough to
project Moore's role right now.
Meeting High Expectations
Star Lotuleilei - it's hard to call a player's stock "up" when you're
called the best defender in the draft (by most in the first four months
of this year, and by me consistently throughout). But Lotuleilei is
everything that Carolina expected.
Since Carolina had to make it's biggest moves through the draft because
of money issues, and the other four picks will have to fight from behind
existing starters to make impact, the Lotuleilei pick had to be a home
run. also includes the read-option zone.
> Johnson, meanwhile, notes that he's back up near 290, adding muscle
> to play the run better at his natural left end spot.
> I almost have mixed feelings about that. Johnson, who has 33 sacks
> in the last 3 seasons and, at that pace, is going to equal Mike
> Rucker's career mark for sacks this year. For those scoring at home,
> Julius Peppers has 30 sacks over the last 3 years, and required 4.5
> sacks in weeks 15/16 to make it to double digit sacks in 2012. So, I
> have to trust Johnson's intentions.
> But, while Johnson's want to get better against the run is more than
> admirable, he's not the weak link there. Carolina's going to need to
> be good against the run to get to 3rd down, prior a week spot and now
> a spot Carolina should be able to tee off on the QB. That's when they
> need Johnson at his best. But, with his recent production, it's hard
> to argue with him.