We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off the 2022 season.
As we inch closer to the 2022 Panthers regular season, we are down to just 46 days left. As such, today’s piece will focus on two different Panthers in camp, one who is still donning the No. 46 and the other who recently switched to No. 90 — long snapper Thomas Fletcher and defensive end Amare Barno.
The Panthers drafted Thomas Fletcher (6’1, 235) in the sixth round (No. 222 overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. Fletcher was an internet feel-good story when head coach Matt Rhule called him to tell him he was being drafted. In the viral video the team released, Fletcher’s excitement was palpable. He has since walked his “happy ass to Carolina,” and will be looking to unseat JJ Jansen as the team’s long snapper. Fletcher spent all of last season on injured reserve with a hip issue, essentially granting him a medical redshirt. He spent his college days at Alabama, where he was perfect on all snapping duties across all four of his years with the team. He also won the Patrick Mannelly Award for best long snapper in the country in 2020.
Amare Barno (6’6, 245) switched to No. 90 less than a week ago, so we never got a chance to write about him. So, we’ll throw him in this piece since he was wearing No. 46. Barno was another Panthers sixth round draft pick, this time in the 2022 NFL Draft. He was mainly drafted due to his insane athleticism that helped him net the combine’s fastest 40-yard-dash by a defensive lineman (4.36) since 2003. He played college ball at Virginia Tech, where he led all FBS players with 16 tackles for loss during the 2020 season. He will likely compete for a rotational pass rusher spot on the roster as he is not the most polished technician. His athleticism and size will also likely push him toward a special teams spot as well.
What do you think Panthers fans? Will Fletcher unseat Jansen? Will Barno make an impact rushing the passer this season? Sound off in the comments?