O-Line: The Panthers drafted T Jeff Otah in the first round who will likely start at Right Tackle. Jordan Gross will move to Left Tackle which he has really never played, and LT Travelle Wharton will move to Guard. The Guard position was vacated by Mike Wahle who left for Seattle. Center Justin Hartwig was signed by Pittsburgh will be replaced by backup, Ryan Kalil.
There are quite a few changes here, but individually, these are decent players. It may be a little rough at the start of the season, but as the year progresses they should improve. Look for Carolina to be more of a second-half team.
Jake Delhomme's is a great buy low candidate. He'll be around later in drafts and makes an ideal second QB. Delhomme started 2007 on fire with 8 TD, 1 Int, and 624 yards in 3 games. He underwent Tommy John surgery but his elbow is on track to be ready for the start of the season.
Deshaun Foster is gone to San Francisco. His main replacement will be first round pick Jonathan Stewart. DeAngelo Williams is really not much more than a complimentary back. He's good in that role, and the coaches know it. Stewart is the best rookie RB to draft since he has the clearest path to the lion's share of the carries.
Steve Smith and Jake Delhomme make each other better. When Delhomme went down last year Smith had 16 catches 281 yards and 4 TD's in 3 games. He struggled the rest of the year catching passes from some of the worst starting QB play ever witnessed in David Carr, Matt Moore and the mummified Vinny Testaverde. He's a solid first WR, and he should have much better numbers in 2008 assuming the health of his QB is adequate.
Keary Colbert is gone as the number 2 receiver, and not a moment too soon. He is replaced by DJ Hackett who was excellent last season when he played. His per game averages were very good in Seattle, but that may or may not translate well since he'll be in a new offense. He's absolutely not a sure thing, but does have potential to be a worthwhile option. Muhsin Muhammad is the only other WR worth considering, but he'll play out of the slot and be used for his blocking. However, he was productive when he last played with Jake Delhomme, so that may translate to some surprising productivity. Just don't count on it.
Jeff King started all 16 games in 2007 and was a marginal fantasy option. The coaching staff has intimated that he will be used more for blocking this season and second year TE Dante Rosario has been taking reps with the first team. This makes for a murky situation that fantasy owners should probably steer clear of.
Carolina was right in the middle of the pack for fantasy purposes in 2007. In the offseason, DT Kris Jenkins was traded to the Jets. Immediately after the trade all of the other coaches in the NFC South had quotes about how thrilled they were that he was out of the division. That usually means it was a bad move. It is worth noting that he was horribly out of shape for most of the 2007 season, ballooning to over 400 lbs. Additionally DE Mike Rucker retired.
The Panthers added a few minor pieces to their defense in Free Safety Terrence Holt, LB Landon Johnson, and DE Tyler Brayton. However, the Panthers are hoping that their defense improves from the players they already have on the roster. Julius Peppers may have been in a witness protection program for all of 2007, because that certainly was not him on the field. I would count on him making more of an impact. Time will tell if this group improves, but I'm leaning toward no.