Stantley Thomas-Oliver III - Carolina Panthers CB
There's no doubt the Carolina Panthers have some concerns surrounding their cornerback unit heading into the 2023 campaign. Injuries and poor production are the primary causes behind some growing doubts, but the coaching staff seems confident enough in their options based on almost no genuine reinforcements coming into the fold this offseason.
If Jaycee Horn cannot stay on the field, then the Panthers have a real problem unless someone comes from the shadows and thrives. There's a chance Keith Taylor Jr. or C.J. Henderson could improve greatly under better, NFL-caliber coaching, but Stantley Thomas-Oliver III has been the reported surprising standout over early offseason workouts.
Thomas-Oliver is an often-overlooked player. His involvement on the defensive rotation has been limited, but the former seventh-round selection out of Florida International emerged as a core special teamer before an injury ended his 2022 campaign after just three games.
The cornerback looks healthy and ready to make a bigger impression in a contract year. Thomas-Oliver has to keep up this level of production consistently at training camp, but the window of opportunity is there if he can gain the trust of defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero and others.
Behind Horn and Donte Jackson once he returns from a torn Achilles, it's a wide-open race for reps. After a fantastic offseason so far, Thomas-Oliver has every right to fancy his chances.