4 moves the Carolina Panthers should have made sooner

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jermaine Carter
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jermaine Carter /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Stantley Thomas-Oliver /

Getting Stantley Thomas-Oliver more involved

Stantley Thomas-Oliver has been blended in slowly by the Carolina Panthers after being taken in the seventh round of this year’s NFL Draft. That was probably the right call given his relative lack of experience playing the position but the way he’s adjusted to the next level when given the opportunity leaves plenty of reasons to be encouraged moving forward.

Involving Thomas-Oliver is a move the Panthers could have made sooner, especially when one considers just how much Donte Jackson has been hampered with a toe injury that kept him out entirely against the Lions. Carolina shouldn’t be criticized for allowing the former Florida International standout to develop at his own pace, but now might be the time to take off the shackles.

It is a small sample size to go off, but Thomas-Oliver might end up being more of a productive starter down the line than Troy Pride Jr. if their initial performances are any indication. The fourth-round pick has found life difficult coming up against wide receivers who will punish every blown coverage or individual error. But a little too early to be labeling him as a bust just yet.

As for Thomas-Oliver, the future could be incredibly bright.

He is still learning how to maximize his skills at the position after transitioning from a wide receiver in college. So with another strong offseason under his belt next spring, it could come with an increased role in 2021.