5 Carolina Panthers with the most to prove in 2020
Carolina Panthers Player No. 5: Eli Apple (CB)
Eli Apple is officially in the last chance saloon with the Carolina Panthers in 2020. The cornerback has more to prove than most heading into a critical campaign. And if he fails to perform well in a starting role again. He can kiss his chances of anything more than a rotational role goodbye.
Big things were expected of Apple when the New York Giants drafted him No. 10 overall. Although he has a likable skill set to call upon. He has failed to make the most of this during his career so far.
This has put him at something of a crossroads. But the Panthers feel he can turn things around after giving the corner a one-year deal that could be worth $3 million.
The cornerback spot is one of the more concerning areas of the depth chart. Donte Jackson needs to step up and become the team’s No. 1 option following the departure of James Bradberry. And fourth-round pick Troy Pride Jr. might end up being a work in progress during his rookie year.
Apple will be tasked with filling in as the No. 2 option until Pride Jr. gets himself up to speed with the rigors of the NFL. If the former Ohio State standout can start to trend on an upward curve, then it could see the Panthers give him a longer-term commitment.
The stakes are incredibly high for Apple in 2020. But whether the pressure will be too much is something we will just have to wait and see.