4 underhyped Carolina Panthers heading into 2020
Carolina Panthers Player No. 1: Ian Thomas (TE)
It will be strange seeing the Carolina Panthers take the field without the services of Greg Olsen next season. The prolific tight end opted for a move to the Seattle Seahawks after the team and player decided to go their separate ways. And he will now get the chance to end his career with a realistic opportunity for a deep postseason run.
The Panthers didn’t bring much in the way of replacements to the organization during free agency or the NFL Draft. So the responsibility will fall squarely on the shoulders of Ian Thomas to deliver the goods.
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This is an opportunity that the former fourth-round pick has been waiting for since he entered the league. And there is a lot to like about his ability to become a valued contributor with more time on the field.
Thomas showed some very encouraging signs during his rookie season in Olsen’s absence. He managed to start six games, bringing in 36 of 49 targets on his way to 333 receiving yards, two touchdowns, 20 first downs, and a yards-per-catch average of 9.3.
Although the player didn’t follow this up during his sophomore campaign. He will now be given the No. 1 option next season to deliver on his enormous promise.
The tight end definitely falls into the underhyped category going into the season. Thomas has everything you look for in a modern-day tight end. And if he can improve his ability to catch the ball under pressure, then the Panthers are going to have some player on their hands.