Could Omar Bayless be the Panthers’ secret weapon in 2021?

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Omar Bayless
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Omar Bayless /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Omar Bayless /

How can Bayless help the Carolina Panthers?

It seemed strange that Omar Bayless went undrafted after lighting up the college scene during his final season at Arkansas State. He was a devastating force in the passing game to put up some of the best numbers in the country without quite doing enough to hear his name called.

If his initial time with the Carolina Panthers is any indication, this has worked to their advantage. Matt Rhule must see something in Bayless to keep him around despite his injury and the wideout will have learned a considerable amount from being around the locker room in a professional environment for the first time.

Bayless recorded 93 receptions, 1,653 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns, and a yards-per-catch average of 17.8 last season. There were some concerns about his ability to create separation at the next level. But it’s hard not to look at his skill set and not think he can be a difference-maker in the right situation.

This is all dependent on Bayless making a smooth adjustment in the face of bigger and more athletic cornerbacks to that which he faced in college. He must also prove that the knee problem that prevented him from making his presence felt in 2020 is fully behind him.

There won’t be any immediate pressure on Bayless to make a contribution. However, there could be a real opening for him depending on what happens in free agency.