Donte Jackson will get thrown into fire right away

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Donte Jackson
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Donte Jackson /

The Carolina Panthers rookie will get a chance to prove himself…

I hate how I keep saying this, but it is true. The future really is “now” for the Carolina Panthers. Per a tweet from Max Henson of rookie cornerback Donte Jackson will start in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys He was not in action on Thursday.

Currently, Jackson is the No. 2 cornerback on the right side per the most recent depth chart from Starting above him at the moment is Kevon Seymour. After having a rough beginning to the preseason, Seymour has bounced back nicely. To his credit, Jackson had played well this preseason too.

Recording seven tackles, Jackson has shown the ability to be a playmaker. There is no doubt that as a rookie, Jackson still has a lot to learn. Especially with all the hype surrounding him (I’m guilty of contributing to some of it), he will still have to live up to high expectations. I truly believe he can live up to it.

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The move to make Jackson a starter should not be considered automatically permanent. If we see Jackson struggle, I could certainly see Seymour being put back in the starting spot. Right now, Jackson has the rawest talent out of the two. His physicality and athleticism are traits the Carolina Panthers have been wanting for a number of years. Jackson has both of those as well as a swagger that the secondary has been missing.

In a sense, this move speaks to how highly Ron Rivera regards Jackson. To trust a rookie to start the opening game of a season is risky. Even still, it speaks to what Rivera thinks Jackson can do. There may be a few hiccups along the way, but it is important to be patient with him as he continues to learn the system.

Dallas will be a great test for him, and one of the things I would be interested in watching is if he is able to help stop Ezekiel Elliot. He is the type of player that is not afraid to come down and make a tackle. Naturally, he probably would not make a tackle until Elliott gets to the second level of the defense. However, there may be plays where the Carolina Panthers can identify run plays quickly. Jackson should be able to use his skillset there to come up and make the big hit.

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Carolina Panthers fans should be excited that Jackson will get the nod in Week 1. It will offer a glimpse into the future of the secondary. Who knows, Jackson may be a permanent fixture at the position for years to come.