Carolina Panthers OLB Eku Leota catches the eye
With no concrete presence emerging opposite Brian Burns at edge rusher with Marquis Haynes Sr. on the sidelines through injury, speculation continues to mount about whether further reinforcements are needed. Kobe Jones has exceeded expectations, but it's been relatively quiet from others lower down the depth chart looking to find their way.
However, there were signs of life from Eku Leota during Fan Fest that definitely caught the eye. The undrafted free agent out of Auburn was a constant menace whenever he took the field, seemingly able to plunge into the quarterback's lap at will with explosiveness that became synonymous with his time at the collegiate level.
Leota has the size and knows how to maximize opportunities. Mike Kaye of The Charlotte Observer counted three pressures at one stage for the rookie, which is always the most sure-fire way to get noticed by the Carolina Panthers' exceptional coaching staff.
This is positive for Leota, but whether it'll be enough to make the 53-man roster remains to be seen. There is plenty of competition for places in this area of the field - especially with only one outside linebacking position having a confirmed starter - so joint practices with the New York Jets and preseason reps will be crucial for the player before his fate is sealed.
The energy and instincts are there for all to see with Leota. And Wednesday's practice will have boosted his confidence tremendously at an important stage in the team's preparations.