4 takeaways from Panthers’ padded practices at training camp so far

(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) Robby Anderson
(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) Robby Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) Omar Bayless and Stantley Thomas-Oliver III /

Unfancied rookies are making a splash

Little is expected of Stantley Thomas-Oliver III or Omar Bayless making an immediate contribution to the Carolina Panthers. But this is a situation that might change thanks to their outstanding efforts at training camp so far.

Both have caught the eye considerably during padded practice and team drills overall in recent days. And although Bayless was forced to miss some time with an injury. It appears that he has already won over his teammates and head coach Matt Rhule.

Everyone who has been asked about the undrafted wide receiver has been gushing in their praise for the player. Bayless is coming off one of college football’s most productive seasons in 2020. And he is using this momentum to catch the eye in no uncertain terms at the next level.

The Panthers spent their seventh-round pick on Thomas-Oliver, who has only been playing cornerback for two years. He has made some superb plays against older and more experienced opposition. But whether this will be enough to win the No. 4 corner spot from the outset remains to be seen.

Thomas-Oliver is only going to get better with more experience. He made a seamless transition from wide receiver to cornerback at Florida International. And the sky is the limit for the player if he continues to develop at such a rapid rate.