Carolina Panthers camp: 3 big questions at cornerback

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Eli Apple
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Eli Apple /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Eli Apple /

Can Eli Apple turn things around?

To say there is a lot riding on next season for Eli Apple would be something of an understatement. The cornerback has endured a turbulent career so far after arriving in the NFL as the No. 10 overall pick in 2016. And this appears to be his final opportunity to prove he is capable of filling a starting position.

Apple has so many impressive athletic traits that it is staggering to think he hasn’t put it all together as yet. The Carolina Panthers appear confident that an increased sense of urgency might be just what the player needs. But teams across the league will know just how weak his play can become if the corner is targeted early and often.

This is something that became prevalent during Apple’s final season with the New York Giants. And things did not improve much with the New Orleans Saints last time out. He will be given the role opposite Donte Jackson initially for the Panthers. But it will not take long for the organization to look in a different direction if things don’t pan out as expected.

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Apple has been a real enigma since entering the league. He will come up with outstanding coverage one minute, then completely miss an assignment the next. Consistency will be key against some outstanding passing attacks on the Panthers’ schedule. And Carolina’s need for production at the cornerback spot is great.