Panthers Rookie Addresses Comparisons to Carolina Legend

The Carolina Panthers rookie sets the bar high for himself.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers completely revamped their roster this offseason, especially on the offensive end. After struggling mightily on that end in 2023, the Panthers front office made it a priority to add more playmakers through free agency, trade market, and the draft. With that objective in mind, Carolina brought in wide receivers Diontae Johnson and Xavier Legette, and running back Jonathon Brooks, while simultaneously bolstering the offensive line with the signings of Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis.

This means that Bryce Young will not only be better protected in his second season, but he will also have plenty of offensive weapons to throw the ball to.

One of the under-the-radar additions of the offseason, however, is Ja'Tavion Sanders. The 21-year-old tight end out of Texas was the fourth-round pick of the Panthers and is already leaving quite the first impression in the organization.

In his press statement during the Panthers rookie minicamp, the talented tight end set the bar very high for himself when addressing comparisons to Carolina legend Greg Olsen.

Panthers Rookie Compares Himself to Iconic Tight End Greg Olsen

Stating his desire to be the new face of the offense and "the next Greg Olsen", Sanders is displaying his confidence in himself. Olsen was one of the best tight ends in the league after he arrived in Carolina in 2011. In his nine seasons with the Panthers, Olsen made three consecutive Pro Bowls, played in a Super Bowl, and had multiple seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards.

Olsen was a highly coveted offensive weapon out of Miami. He was a first-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Sanders as a prospect is not at that level yet. However, he is still very young and has the size and strength to become a difference-maker in the league. If he can indeed become "the next Greg Olsen", he will go down as one of the best draft picks in modern Panthers history.

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