Amare Barno - Carolina Panthers OLB
Much like the situation with Shi Smith, things didn't look too great for Amare Barno heading into the offseason. The edge rusher flashing quality en route to two sacks as a rookie didn't seem to hold much weight with the new coaching staff, who had the former sixth-round selection buried on the unofficial depth chart despite a decent enough training camp.
And like Smith, there's been a lot to like about the way Barno's applied himself with the odds stacked against him this offseason. He's worked hard, dedicated himself to improving, and maximized every rep - something that was rewarded against the New York Jets with the Carolina Panthers' only sack on an otherwise disappointing afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.
There's a long road ahead for Barno and others are still preferred. However, if the Virginia Tech product shows out again at MetLife Stadium, it might just convince the coaching staff he's worthy of sticking around.
Barno comes into the game with plenty of confidence, but his situation remains precarious. However, with Marquis Haynes Sr. injured and Yetur Gross-Matos still struggling to generate any meaningful pressure, the second-year pro's explosiveness and quick closing speed could be of use within Ejiro Evero's creative 3-4 base scheme.
This could still go either way, but the fact Barno's given himself a fighting chance speaks volumes.