4 Panthers players who must see playing time moving forward
By Dean Jones
Stantley Thomas-Oliver – Carolina Panthers CB
The Carolina Panthers rounded-off their historic 2020 NFL Draft by taking cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver in the seventh round. The former Florida Atlantic standout is relatively new to the position after making a transition from wide receiver in college and the coaching staff has kept him out of the firing line throughout the first half of the season.
Thomas-Oliver did enough during training camp to earn a place on the 53-man roster. But he hasn’t been active a great deal as the Panthers seem to be letting him adjust at his own pace to the rigors of the NFL.
Given that there might not be a great deal to play for, especially following their Week 13 bye, then it would be a shock if the player wasn’t more involved in the rotation down the stretch.
This would be beneficial for both parties. It would give Thomas-Oliver a chance to showcase his impressive athletic traits in a bid for more playing time in 2021. It would also let Carolina’s staff see just how well the corner has developed during team drills.
He has turned out in three games this season, and Thomas-Oliver does have one memorable highlight that came on a critical play in their narrow loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8. The first-year-pro seemed to cope well during his first NFL action on defense and was on the field for 22 percent of Carolina’s defensive snaps, so there should be plenty more to come.