The pros and cons of starting CB Eli Apple in 2020

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) Eli Apple
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) Eli Apple /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Eli Apple /

PRO: Experience

One thing that Eli Apple might have going for him is experience. The cornerback has four solid years under his belt for good or bad. And this is something that even No. 1 option Donte Jackson cannot boast.

Apple has had mixed success during his time in the league. But his nous in big games is something that might stand the Carolina Panthers in good stead during this period of transition. What comes next will be ultimately down to the player. And another poor year could spell the end of his time as a starter if the organization opts to put him as the second primary cornerback option ahead of fourth-round pick Troy Pride Jr. and T.J. Green.

This is a critical period in Apple’s career. He will need to call on every experience he has gained so far in an attempt to turnaround his fortunes in 2020. But even that might not be enough in the face of such stern opposition on the schedule.

The Panthers have a young, hungry defense that is more than capable of surprising people next season. Carolina’s decision-makers proved their boldness this offseason by getting rid of some prominent veterans during free agency. And it will not take long for the organization to move on from Apple if he is not pulling his weight.