5 Carolina Panthers facing boom or bust seasons in 2020

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Donte Jackson /

Carolina Panthers Player No. 5: Donte Jackson – CB

Donte Jackson will be tasked with covering the opposition’s best receiving threat in 2020. The Carolina Panthers chose to let James Bradberry walk in free agency. And this has thrust the former LSU standout into the No. 1 cornerback role.

This is a responsibility he is taking very seriously if his preseason preparations are any indication. Jackson has worked hard to bulk up in readiness for the stiff challenge that awaits him next season. And he also sought advice and guidance from ESPN analyst and Super Bowl winner Ryan Clark to further develop his outstanding skill set.

The stakes are high for Jackson in 2020. He could be set for a multi-year extension next spring if he proves his worth as a cornerback with shutdown potential. But if he struggles in the role, then the Panthers might decide to go in a different direction with more financial resources at their disposal in 2021.

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Jackson has all the tools necessary to make a real go of things in 2020. He is arguably the NFL’s fastest cornerback. And if he can harness this in a positive way, cut down on silly mistakes, and lead the unit from the front, then Carolina is going to have an exceptional player on their hands.

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Covering the best in the business is a daunting prospect. It will be a case of sink or swim for Jackson. And how he comes out of it will tell us plenty about just how important he will be for the franchise during their rebuild.