5 Carolina Panthers backups who’ll push for serious playing time in 2021

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver /
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Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver III /

Stantley Thomas-Oliver III – Carolina Panthers CB

It was an encouraging start to life with the Carolina Panthers for Stantley Thomas-Oliver III in 2020. The seventh-round selection made the roster and even generated some first-team reps throughout the season, holding his own against some of the best in the business.

Those associated with the Panthers were eagerly awaiting to see just how much Thomas-Oliver’s brought his game on away from the gridiron. At least from the outside looking in, the former Florida International star could have a role to play.

Thomas-Oliver took to the cornerback position relatively late, making the transition from a wide receiver over his final two seasons in college.

He was a little rough around the edges coming into the organization. But the important thing from Thomas-Oliver’s point of view is he’s picking things up quickly and learning with every passing day.

The Panthers might need some starting reps from Thomas-Oliver over the first two weeks with A.J. Bouye serving out his two-game suspension. This bears more significance when one considers Troy Pride Jr. is out for the season with an ACL injury.

How Thomas-Oliver performs if he should get the nickel role will tell us plenty about what we can expect from the second-year-pro moving forward. Judging by the player’s development over the last year, it might just be the making of him.