4 Panthers who could emerge as major contributors in 2020
Carolina Panthers Player No. 4: Troy Pride Jr. (CB)
Rookie cornerback Troy Pride Jr. is seen as a work in progress by the Carolina Panthers in 2020. But there is nothing to suggest that the fourth-round pick cannot step up and provide a solid contribution as the season goes on.
The former Notre Dame speedster is an electrifying prospect that has all the dynamic traits needed to forge a successful career in the NFL. There is still a prominent role for Pride Jr. to play early on despite the free-agent arrival of Eli Apple. And if the veteran continues to trend on a downward curve, then it won’t be long before the first-year-pro is thrown in opposite unrivaled No. 1 option Donte Jackson.
Pride Jr. will have no trouble keeping up with even the quickest wide receivers going down the field. He has exceptionally quick feet and is fluid enough in his motions to make a difference as a rookie. And although there is some work needed regarding ball location and tackling. He has the sort of attitude that can be coached up immediately.
Teams were extremely reluctant to throw in Pride Jr.’s direction during his final two years in college. This is something that will change in a professional environment against some elite passing attacks on the schedule. But even though it might look like a baptism of fire from the outside looking in, the cornerback is sure to relish the challenge that lies ahead.
Putting too much on Pride Jr. early on could have a detrimental impact. But it is hard not to like his chances of being a major factor from midseason onwards.