One surprise player to make the Panthers roster at every position
Stantley Thomas-Oliver III – Carolina Panthers CB
The cornerback unit is an area that should be much improved in 2021. Jaycee Horn, A.J. Bouye, and even fifth-round selection Keith Taylor Jr. could make an immediate difference alongside Donte Jackson, who has plenty at stake from a personal perspective heading into the final year of his deal.
There does appear some doubt about the futures of Troy Pride Jr. and Stantley Thomas-Oliver III. A little harsh after just one year of NFL experience, but that is the nature of the beast and something the second-year duo are no doubt fully aware of.
Thomas-Oliver outperformed Pride as a rookie, although that’s not exactly saying much. The seventh-round pick got some valuable experience over the second half of the campaign and this should serve him well in pursuit of more involvement this time around.
Competition for places is fierce, so the margin for error is slim.
Thomas-Oliver has his work cut out making the team with other options already ahead of him. But the Florida International product needs to take this challenge head-on and prove beyond all doubt he is worth taking through for Week 1 and beyond.
Whether he can do this or not remains to be seen. Keeping an eye on the progress of Thomas-Oliver and Pride during the preseason might end up being the determining factor.