5 Carolina Panthers players with genuine superstar potential

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
2 of 6
Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

Ian Thomas – TE

This past offseason Greg Olsen decided to leave the Carolina Panthers and continue his career with the Seattle Seahawks. Fans can’t be upset with his decision considering he gave everything to the organization and he deserves a chance to make another Super Bowl run.

The Panthers have lost a leader in the locker room and their best tight end in franchise history, but his replacement is no slouch. Ian Thomas will be taking over as the main tight end and has the potential to be an amazing player.

Thomas has only been in the league for two seasons and hasn’t seen a ton of action due to Olsen getting most of the reps. In his two seasons with the Panthers, Thomas has totaled 52 receptions for 469 yards and three touchdowns.

His numbers so far aren’t amazing and that will change with time. The way Thomas is built, together with his athleticism is the reason he has superstar potential.

Thomas is listed as 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he ran a 4.74-second 40-yard dash and had a 36-inch vertical jump. He is a pass-catcher that can outrun some secondary players and has the ability to out muscle linebackers.

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

Thomas can turn into whatever tight end the Panthers need him to be. If they need him to run verticals up the seam and beat defensive backs downfield he can do it. If they need him to run cross routes in linebacker zones and make tough catches he can do it. Being able to learn from one of the best tight ends ever over the last few seasons may give him a little more insight into what it takes to be a No. 1 in the league. This may help as well.

If Thomas is able to get open with all of the focus on the wide receivers on the field with him, he could have a monster third year. He is a must-watch player for the Panthers in 2020.