According to Jourdan Rodrigue, Joseph Person and Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer, third-year Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess is standing out in training camp:
“Receiver Devin Funchess made several big catches and continues to have an excellent camp. Counterpart Kelvin Benjamin, who has been fairly quiet all of training camp so far, also made a big touchdown catch during team drills – though he was matched up one on one against the much-smaller nickel Captain Munnerlyn.”
While head coach Ron Rivera has stood up for Benjamin this summer against concerns of weight and being out of shape, that doesn’t mean that Funchess can’t put the heat on Benjamin.
Funchess himself has been a little underwhelming considering his pre-draft hype in 2015. However, this is Year 3 for him, and for receivers, that’s supposed to be the big jump.
The Panthers — and QB Cam Newton in particular — love getting the ball into the hands of their bigger targets. While Benjamin could prove people wrong and show that he is in good shape and fully recovered from his 2015 knee injury, Funchess could also blossom into a very dangerous pass-catcher.
With Funchess seemingly grasping the Panthers’ WR2 spot, he will get plenty of opportunities to win one-on-one matchups, as Benjamin, TE Greg Olsen and RB Christian McCaffrey take attention away.
Through his first two seasons, Funchess has 54 receptions (123 targets) for 844 yards (15.6 avg) and 9 touchdowns.