Carolina Panthers training camp: 5 key battles to watch

(Photo by Michael Starghill/XFL via Getty Images) P.J. Walker
(Photo by Michael Starghill/XFL via Getty Images) P.J. Walker /
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Eli Apple, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Eli Apple /

Carolina Panthers camp battle No. 5: Eli Apple vs Troy Pride Jr. (CB)

There are plenty of questions surrounding the cornerback position heading into training camp. The Carolina Panthers didn’t bring back James Bradberry, Ross Cockrell, or Javien Elliott. So the onus will be on other players to step in and fill the void.

Donte Jackson is their undisputed No. 1 option. And there are high hopes that the player can make great strides covering the NFL’s best receiving options on a tough-looking schedule.

Who earns the No. 2 slot opposite Jackson is still up in the air, although free-agent signing Eli Apple does appear to be the favorite prior to camp. The former No. 10 overall pick is entering the last chance saloon in his bid to be a viable starter. And this should bring around an increased sense of urgency for the player.

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There is also the option of Troy Pride Jr. to consider. The former Notre Dame speedster was taken in the fourth round this spring. And even though he is a little rough around the edges. He is a player with a significant upside that is sure to stand out considerably in the coming weeks thanks to his impressive skill set.

Putting too much on Pride Jr.’s shoulders in 2020 might do more harm than good. But if he completely outplays Apple during drills, then Carolina’s coaching staff will be left with no other option other than to throw him in right away.

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