Tae Hayes – Carolina Panthers CB
This time of year across the NFL is all about seizing the moment. Taking advantage of opportunitues at a crucial stage of the decision-making process.
Something Tae Hayes managed to do in a big way on Saturday.
The Carolina Panthers brought Hayes into the fold extremely late in camp to compensate for some injuries within the cornerback room. And it hasn’t taken the Appalachian State product long to force his way into the team’s plans.
Hayes was nothing short of outstanding at the Washington Commanders, lending his support against the run heavily and also providing an assured presence in coverage. While this wasn’t against top-end talent, it was enough for the Panthers to keep him around in favor of Chris Westry, who endured a torrid afternoon at FedEx Field and was moved on shortly after.
Much like the situation with Derek Wright, it’ll be difficult for Hayes to make the 53-man roster. Carolina’s secondary is projected to be an area of real strength, which makes it difficult for those in the fringes to force their way onto the rotation.
Coupled this with the fact Hayes came into the fold so late, and the overall prospects for his future in Carolina are bleak. However, he couldn’t have left a bigger impression on Saturday and if this continues over the final preseason games, nothing can be ruled out.