It's Now or Never for Ian Thomas | Beaufort County Now | Can the Panthers tight end finally put it all together?

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Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of Fan Nation. The author of this post is Schuyler Callihan.


    Greatness doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. Everyone grows up dreaming of not only making the NFL but becoming one of the very best to ever play the game. Unfortunately, the reality is not everyone gets to live out that dream and if they do, a very small percent of them become legendary players.

    For Carolina Panthers' tight end Ian Thomas, it's not about chasing greatness. It's not about trying to become the next Greg Olsen. It's just about improving day by day and developing into a reliable receiving tight end. Through the first three years of his career, Thomas has been a non-factor in the Carolina offense after being drafted in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. As a matter of fact, his production has not improved after posting 36 receptions for 333 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie.

    When you look at the number of receptions, yards, and touchdowns Thomas has recorded thus far in his career, nothing really jumps out at you that would lead you to believe he could become a No. 1 tight end. However, there is one hidden statistic that leaves some hope and that's his 65.5% career catch percentage. For reference, Olsen had a career catch percentage of 61.8%. Living in the mid-high 60s is a pretty respectable number and is a mark that most tight ends aim for at a minimum. Despite the high catch rate, Thomas has not seen a high number of targets as he is averaging 36.6 targets per season. Most No. 1 tight ends around the league are getting about 70-80 looks on average and that's more on the conservative side.

    [ ... ]

    Read the full transcript HERE on Fan Nation.

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