The Panthers are beginning to feel like they have hit on something big with fourth-round draft pick Ian Thomas.
The rookie tight end has carried over an outstanding performance in training camp to the preseason, where he showed an impressive burst of speed on a 27-yard catch-and-run touchdown reception from Cam Newton, and delivered a powerful seal block that helped spring Christian McCaffrey for a 71-yard touchdown in Friday night’s preseason win over the Miami Dolphins.
Related players: Greg Olsen
After not getting a ton of receptions at Indiana, Carolina’s scouts became convinced Thomas has what it takes to be a playmaker and general manager Marty Hurney was sold on him as he studied more film. Olsen is still the guy in Carolina but after missing time last year the Panthers acquired a young player at the position who looks like he could eventually make an impact.