Kalon Barnes – Carolina Panthers CB
Assuming that the Carolina Panthers have their first four cornerbacks locked up and the fact Myles Hartsfield should also be included, this leaves places limited for anyone else looking to stake a claim. Those in power were quick to remove Chris Westry from the equation after a poor outing at the Washington Commanders, leaving a few more fighting for standings over the final fortnight.
One such individual is Kalon Barnes, the seventh-round speedster who is athletically gifted but a little rough around the edges. The Baylor product has a close association with Matt Rhule and could be a useful asset on special teams while getting other areas of his game up to the required standard.
Barnes was burned by former Bears teammate Tyquan Thornton during joint practices with the New England Patriots, which didn’t assist his cause. Something the cornerback will be keen to avoid in a typical game day setting.
Stantley Thomas-Oliver III and Tae Hayes will also see the field prominently, one suspects. And all it’ll take is a big play here and there for the pendulum to shift one way or another.
The Panthers saw enough in Barnes to take a flier on him with their final selection of the 2022 NFL Draft. But seventh-rounders aren’t guaranteed to make the team despite Phil Hoskins and Thomas-Oliver achieving this feat since Rhule took charge.