Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/1/12

The defensive backs struggled last season. To their credit, however, the front seven struggled to pressure the quarterback, leaving opposing receivers more time to get open. Despite criticism, Chris Gamble has been a solid number one option at cornerback for the Panthers. Captain Munnerlyn is an excellent option at nickelback, but lacks the size to be a solid number two option. At 5-foot-8, Munnerlyn has consistently struggled against taller NFL receivers. Brandon Hogan, the Panthers fourth-round pick in 2011, was injured last season and will get his chance to compete with Munnerlyn for that number two spot. Josh Norman, the Panthers' fifth-round draft pick out of Coastal Carolina, impressed coaches with his coverage of Steve Smith during practice. However, practice is, well, practice, and Norman will have to prove himself in the preseason.

Charles Godfrey and Sherrod Martin, last year's starting safeties, will be back this season. Godfrey has been a solid option at strong safety, and provided that he stays healthy, will start again this season. At times, Sherrod Martin has struggled with being out of position, resulting in big plays from the opposition. Due to the Martin’s struggles and the abysmal play of back up Jordan Pugh, the Panthers brought in Haruki Nakamura, the former backup of All-Pro strong safety Ed Reed. Nakamura will likely get every opportunity to compete with Martin for that second safety spot in the preseason.

Solid Starters: Chris Gamble, Charles Godfrey

Shaky Starters: Captain Munnerlyn, Sherrod Martin

In the mix: Brandon Hogan, Josh Norman, Brandon Hogan, Jonathan Nelson, R.J. Stanford, Darius Butler

Overall Grade: C

Other News: It has been confirmed that offensive tackle Jeff Otah, who the Panthers traded to the New York Jets for an undisclosed conditional draft pick, will return to the Panthers after failing to pass a physical.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

JJ Watt offers to help pay Rockets owner’s fine

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

Predators rookie Kevin Fiala carted off and hospitalized after gruesome collision

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Adrian Beltre not close to return to Rangers

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander fined $100,000 for confronting official

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

Genie Bouchard: Maria Sharapova is ‘cheater,’ should be banned for life

Browns’ Joe Thomas: ‘I’m already seeing memory loss’

Westbrook hasn’t ‘even thought about’ contract extension

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker