Carolina Panthers training camp: 4 players with the most to prove

(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) Seth Roberts
(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) Seth Roberts /
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Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

Scouting Report. TE. CAROLINA PANTHERS. player. 87. Pick Analysis. IANTHOMAS. 1

Carolina Panthers Player No. 1: Ian Thomas (TE)

The Carolina Panthers lost the services of Greg Olsen to the Seattle Seahawks. The prolific tight end was a huge part of their success for almost a decade. And few would say he isn’t worthy of seeing out the remainder of his career with a team that can contend.

Ian Thomas will be tasked with filling the void left by Olsen. This is a responsibility he is sure to relish. But that does not detract from what a crucial training camp it is for the former Indiana standout.

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Thomas has all the tools needed to make a real go of this opportunity. He showed flashes of brilliance during his rookie campaign. And although this did not carry on in 2019, more is expected of the player with additional time on the field.

The Panthers do not have much in the way of depth behind Thomas. So they will be banking on him to produce consistent numbers and give quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a reliable catching presence over the middle.

If Thomas fails to make an impression during camp, then Carolina might look to bring in another veteran that can provide instant assistance. Things will be tight on their salary cap once they get all their draft picks signed. But the front office has shown willingness to move financial resources around this offseason if they identify a player of interest.

Thomas will look to leave no doubt he is the man to take over the No. 1 option for the foreseeable future. And having a big point to prove should raise his game to new heights.