On the Fringes: Is Micah Simon a dark horse roster candidate in 2021?

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Micah Simon
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Micah Simon /

Could undrafted wide receiver Micah Simon end up becoming a dark horse candidate to make the Carolina Panthers roster with a strong showing at training camp?

Opportunity comes in all shapes and sizes for NFL players looking to make a name for themselves. In Micah Simon‘s case, it arrived in front of those in power within the Carolina Panthers at BYU‘s pro day earlier this offseason.

Some of the league’s most powerful people were in attendance to rule the rule over quarterback Zach Wilson, who generated more momentum and buzz than anyone outside of Trevor Lawrence and Kyle Pitts during the evaluation process.

However, the performance of Simon during throwing drills and his blazing 40-yard dash time saw the Panthers snap him up almost as soon as the session came to a conclusion.

This was a deserved foot in the door for Simon, who will now look to stamp his mark at training camp and in the three preseason games returning to the schedule in 2021. However, only time will tell as to whether the wideout can do enough to force his way onto the 53-man roster.

Simon has one thing the Panthers clearly love.


He has experience as both a wide receiver and playing cornerback in college. Simon was also a high school quarterback thanks to his elite athleticism.

COVID-19 may have hampered the player’s chances of hearing his name called during the 2020 NFL Draft. But his recent success is proof positive that hard work will see an opportunity come around for those in the right place at the right time.

Micah Simon must find his way quickly with the Carolina Panthers this summer.

Simon has his work cut out finding a role in a crowded wide receiver room. There’s no getting away from that.

Carolina looks particularly strong in this area of the field once again despite Curtis Samuel signing for the Washington Football Team in free agency. Backup players were brought back for one more go around and the team also acquired David Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr., and Shi Smith to further boost their options.

Not a bad position for the Panthers to be in. Even though it does make things harder for Simon.

That being said, the Panthers have enough in the way of quality options to think about bringing a wild card through for their Week 1 contest against the New York Jets and beyond. Someone like Simon could fit the bill providing he impresses, although Omar Bayless is another strong candidate if Carolina opts to go with an unproven player with upside.

Whether he makes the team or not, this will be an invaluable experience for Simon. One that could stand him in superb stead somewhere else.

Earning a place on the practice squad is probably more attainable, in all honesty. This would keep Simon around the set-up and give him even more in the way of reps throughout the campaign in the hope he can make a contribution somewhere down the line.

It’ll be interesting to see how Simon gets on against a strong group of cornerbacks when the pads go on at training camp. The stifling heat of Wofford College in Spartanburg has been too much for some over the years, so the receiver needs to hit the ground running to stake his claim.

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Others are preferred going in, obviously. But all it takes is a couple of big plays when it counts from Simon’s standpoint to potentially change perceptions.