4 Carolina Panthers facing make-or-break seasons in 2020

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) Donte Jackson
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) Donte Jackson /
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Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

CAROLINA PANTHERS. 87. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. IANTHOMAS. 3. player. TE

Carolina Panthers Player No. 3: Ian Thomas (TE)

This is a season that Ian Thomas has been waiting for since the moment he was drafted by the Carolina Panthers. The tight end will finally get the chance to showcase what he can do from a prominent starting position after prolific veteran Greg Olsen departed the organization to sign a one-year deal that could be worth $7 million with the Seattle Seahawks.

If the Panthers were in a position to contend for a title, then Olsen might have stuck around. The player deserves to finish his career with one last shot at a Super Bowl he came within one game of winning in Carolina. And the team has placed a substantial amount of faith in Thomas’ ability to fill the huge void.

Thomas showed glimpses of promise during his rookie campaign when Olsen went down through injury. He didn’t reach this sort of level in his sophomore year. So the jury is still out as to whether he can make the most out of the chance afforded to him.

There is a lot to like about the tools that Thomas has to work with. If he can become a more reliable catching presence under pressure. Then the Panthers could have a real player on their hands.

Related Story. Carolina Panthers No. 80: 3 things Ian Thomas must do better in 2020. light

They don’t have much in the way of depth behind Thomas, which only increases the need for the former Indiana standout to produce a consistency that was missing during the time he was on the field in 2019.

This might be the one and only chance Thomas gets to become a starter with the Panthers. And it is vital he rises to the occasion.