Week 3 stock-watch from Carolina Panthers’ training camp

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

UP: Ian Thomas – TE

It is clear that Ian Thomas has been intent on making a serious impression at training camp. The Carolina Panthers placed a tremendous amount of faith in the tight end this offseason. And he has made a promising start to being the team’s No. 1 option at practice.

Thomas is looking to make significant strides in the absence of Greg Olsen, who ended a prolific spell with the franchise by signing with the Seattle Seahawks. The Panthers did not bring in too much in the way of reinforcements as possible replacements, which puts the onus squarely on the former Indiana star’s shoulders to deliver.

The player is relishing this extra responsibility if his performances during drills are any indication. Thomas has made plenty of notable catches and appears to have formed good chemistry with new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in a short space of time.

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

The 2018 fourth-round pick might be an afterthought for those on the outside looking in. But offensive coordinator Joe Brady utilized tight ends heavily during his historic year at LSU and there will be plenty of space for Thomas to work across the middle given the dynamic and speedy weapons on the outside in Carolina.

Another area of his game that has impressed Matt Rhule is blocking. This is something that often gets overlooked in the pass-happy world of the NFL. But it is going to be another useful tool to call upon in 2020.