Realistic career expectations for every Panthers 2022 draft pick

(Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu
(Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /
2 of 7
Carolina Panthers
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Kalon Barnes /

242. player. 860. . CB. Bears . KALON BARNES

Kalon Barnes – Carolina Panthers CB

The seventh round of the draft is basically a toss-up for whether or not a player has a successful career.

After having a solid draft, the Carolina Panthers’ final selection of Baylor cornerback Kalon Barnes was one that seemed like a bit of a reach. However, it is also low-risk with the possibility of a high reward.

Head coach Matt Rhule is tied to Barnes based on their previous connection in college. While Carolina is pretty set at cornerback, the rookie brings a lot of speed, running a 4.23-second 40-yard dash during this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, which was the fastest for a defensive prospect since 2003.

In his senior season with the Bears, Barnes started 10 games and had a career-high 24 tackles, along with three tackles for loss and an interception.

Barnes is certainly a project that might not even make the 53-man roster. But if he can utilize his speed and perform well in OTAs and training camp, he might be able to be used as a special teams weapon.

Realistic career expectation: Practice squad for a few years before either finding himself out of the league or becoming a speedy special teams threat.