Carolina Panthers: 5 players who need a full season in 2020

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) Donte Jackson
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) Donte Jackson /
5 of 6
Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

87. TE. CAROLINA PANTHERS. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. IANTHOMAS. 4

Carolina Panthers Player No. 4: Ian Thomas (TE)

Not having a full NFL season in 2020 would be nothing short of a disaster for Ian Thomas. The tight end is projected to step in and take the place of prolific veteran Greg Olsen. And this is the platform he has been waiting for since he entered the league in 2018.

Thomas has shown some promise during his limited time on the field. And the Carolina Panthers placed a lot of faith in him to make the necessary improvements with more time as a starter next season.

He comes with an incredibly high ceiling given the tools at his disposal. However, yet more disruption to the schedule would undoubtedly hurt Thomas more than most.

Related Story. Carolina Panthers: 3 things Ian Thomas must do better in 2020. light

The former Indiana standout doesn’t have much in the way of depth behind him next season. But that is a situation that might change next time around.

Thomas needs to impress a completely new coaching staff who has no emotional ties to him. And if he fails to make a lasting contribution right away it could see them go in a different direction next spring if the season is canceled early on.

Hopefully, for the tight end and the Panthers, it will not come to this. Thomas has the scope to become a reliable catching presence for Teddy Bridgewater across the middle. And he is a potential breakout candidate if everything clicks into place right away.