The Carolina Panthers added a speed demon to their secondary in Troy Pride Jr., but can the rookie make an instant impact in 2020?
The secondary was a huge need for the Carolina Panthers heading into day three of the 2020 NFL Draft. They addressed this early by picking up cornerback Troy Pride Jr. with their fourth-round selection.
The former Notre Dame prospect has plenty of likable features to his game that fit in well with new head coach Matt Rhule’s vision for the franchise. He boasts an electrifying pace and a desire that is sure to make a successful transition to the next level.
Providing Pride Jr. works on areas of need during training camp, then the Panthers have a player of enormous potential on their hands. It represented a high-value pick in the mid-rounds and one that can bring instant production.
It is clear the Carolina coaching staff have plenty to work with regarding Pride Jr., who has already set his sights on covering the incredible receiving talent currently plying their trade in the NFC South.
Speaking to the Panthers website, Pride Jr. had this to say on the challenges awaiting him.
"“I’m already setting myself up for that. I’ve always been working for the best and to have the best in our division – Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and all those guys, Matt Ryan – it’s going to be wonderful. You relish those opportunities, you relish that moment to compete against the best because, shoot, the cream’s going to rise to the top.”"
One reason the player might have drooped is his size, which gives him a slightly lower catch radius and could see him struggle against bigger wideouts at the next level.
That being said, given the relative lack of depth at corner for the Panthers, Pride Jr. may be thrown in at deep end and be a day one starter.