Carolina Panthers: Undrafted Free Agents' Chances to Make the Final Cut

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Carolina Panthers: Undrafted Free Agents' Chances to Make the Final Cut
Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images
Jared Green, son of NFL HOFer Darrell Green, tries out for the Carolina Panthers.

From the day the Carolina Panthers' 2011 season ended following a 45-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, the organization and fans alike began preparations for the 2012 NFL draft.

With their first selection, the Panthers picked the ACC's all-time leading tackler, Luke Kuechly, out of Boston College, and they proceeded to draft players to fill needs on the offensive and defensive lines, the defensive backfield and special teams.

However, the front office's work was not finished with the draft as it continued to look for able-bodied college football stars to fill out their allotment of 90 roster spots heading into rookie minicamps and OTAs. 

The Panthers signed a dozen undrafted free agents in the weeks following the draft, some of whom they have already released. Others have signed since.

But do any of these guys have a chance to actually make the Panthers' final 53-man roster or even the seven-man practice squad?

Here is a look at a handful of Panthers undrafted free agents who could make the team.

 

WR Brenton Bersin (Wofford)

Bersin grew up just a couple of doors down from Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and attended cookouts at the Big Cat's house as a kid.

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The former Charlotte Latin star had 26 catches for 445 yards and a couple of scores for the Wofford Terriers last season.

Bersin is a feel-good story trying out for his hometown team, and though he is not likely to make the Panthers' final roster, he could find his way onto the practice squad.

 

OG Will Blackwell (Louisiana State)

Blackwell is no stranger to big games, having last played in the BCS title matchup against Alabama in January. 

The collegiate All-SEC and All-American performer moved his wedding date to attend the Panthers' first offseason minicamp after going undrafted.

Carolina could use more depth on the line and it started an undrafted rookie offensive lineman, Byron Bell, for most of last season. 

Blackwell is a hard-nosed player and I like his chances of sticking around in Charlotte.

 

WR Jared Green (Southern)

Green is the son of the former NFL's Fastest Man winner, Washington Redskins cornerback and NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green. 

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Green transferred to Southern from the University of Virginia after an unproductive junior season and had 17 catches in his final collegiate season.

However, he does possess "Green speed" and the Panthers are likely to give this guy a chance to at least stick around on the practice squad.

 

RB Tauren Poole (Tennessee)

Poole was a 1,000-yard rusher in his junior season at Tennessee, but the Panthers are deep at the running back position with incumbents DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart still on board.

Poole's best chance of making the Panthers' roster will come on special teams.

However, Poole follows in the footsteps of a fellow undrafted Volunteers running back who has made a splash in the NFL: the Houston Texans' Arian Foster.

 

TE Nelson Rosario (UCLA)

Rosario may be the pass-catching tight end the Panthers need to complement Greg Olsen, since they are unlikely to re-sign Jeremy Shockey. 

Rosario is UCLA's fifth-leading all-time receiver in terms of catches (146) and yards (2,362), and he led the Bruins with 64 catches for 1,161 yards last season.

At 6'5", 225 pounds, Rosario is slight for an NFL tight end, but may find his way onto the squad as a red-zone target.

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