After six seasons of squandering between a mediocre and good player, Greg Olsen looked to put it all together in 2012. The Carolina Panthers have to be excited about Olsen pouring in a season with 843 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Cam Newton is entering his third year at the NFL level, but could his experience under center turn Olsen into an All-Pro in 2013?
Chicago Bears fans weren’t happy when Olsen was dealt to Carolina for a third round pick, but that pick was later used to get Brandon Marshall so I think they will take that trade-off.
Anyway, the Bears had high hopes for Olsen after drafting him in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft. Coming out of Miami, Olsen was seen as a pass-catching tight end and this was long before the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham changed the landscape of the NFL.
Unlike the running back position, tight ends seem to age like a fine wine as Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons hauled in eight touchdowns last year. Gonzalez has been in the league for 16 seasons and continues to produce on a weekly basis.
Compared to Gonzalez at 37-years old, the Carolina tight end is a spring chicken at just 28-years old. Ron Rivera is planted on the head coaching hot seat and with the team deciding not to pursue a free agent wide receiver this off-season the offense is going to rely heavily on Olsen.
In a division with Graham and Gonzalez, it’s easy for Olsen to be overshadowed; but if he can reach 1,000 yards and haul in eight touchdowns in 2013, I don’t think anyone will complain.