Amare Barno - Carolina Panthers OLB
Many were surprised when Amare Barno got a spot on the 53-man roster. He didn't feature much on the defensive rotation as a rookie. However, his special teams prowess was enough for the former sixth-round pick to get another year.
Barno's seen his usage increase this season, which is pleasing. He's turned out in 22 percent of defensive snaps. He's been utilized on 62% of the special teams' plays. This indicates a strong level of trust from Chris Tabor in the explosive presence.
Big changes are coming to the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Adding to the pass rush is one of the team's top priorities. This becomes arguably the No. 1 need if Brian Burns doesn't end up staying beyond his current deal.
Fresh incomings mean additional competition for those lower down the pecking order. Barno is developing well. Unfortunately for the player, he'll have to impress yet another set of eyes once a new head coach and a perhaps general manager are appointed.
This would be disappointing from Barno's perspective. He was always seen as a development project. He's been given a rough hand with so much turbulence around him. All the Virginia Tech product can do is keep believing and working hard on improving every area of his game.
A strong end to the campaign would also help. Anything less could see his plans with the Panthers in tatters.