Panthers Undrafted Rookie Already Shining in OTAs

Panthers undrafted rookie kicker Harrison Mevis is off to an excellent start in OTAs, giving him a chance to take Eddy Pineiro's starting job.
Feb 1, 2024; Charlotte, NC, USA;  Carolina Panthers head coach Dave Canales speaks to the media
Feb 1, 2024; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Dave Canales speaks to the media / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers officially began OTAs (offseason team activities) on Monday and one undrafted rookie is already shining, immediately declaring his intention to compete for a roster spot with strong play.

Former Missouri Tigers kicker Harrison Mevis, affectionately known as the "Thiccer Kicker," made all five of his field goals to start the practice, including a long of 47 yards. Eddy Pineiro is the incumbent kicker. However, he is entering the last year of his contract. If Mevis performs well, he could take the job.

Could Pineiro be at risk of losing his role?

Panthers Rookie Kicker Harrison Mevis Shining at OTAs

Pineiro is a decent kicker but a journeyman. He made 86.2% of his field goals last season but missed three extra points and has only made 26 of 33 career kicks from 40 to 49 yards.

Mevis is known for his powerful leg, having set the SEC record for the longest field goal (61 yards) in a game to beat Kansas State. He made 147 of his 148 career extra points, bringing stability to the position that Pineiro lacked last year.

Pineiro hasn't arrived at the optional offseason workouts, giving Mevis even more time to stand out and impress Dave Canales and the coaching staff. If Mevis showcases his distance while displaying accuracy that plagued him at times at Missouri, it would make sense for Carolina to award him the starting kicker position.

As an undrafted rookie, he's naturally on a team-friendly deal. Pineiro, on the other hand, will make over $2.5 million this year. If Mevis doesn't represent a large downgrade on the field, the Panthers should take advantage of the potential cap savings and build toward the future.

There's plenty of time left for this competition, though Mevis is off to an ideal start.

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