4 most important Panthers players vs. the Falcons in Week 8

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
2 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Pick Analysis. CB. DONTEJACKSON. 1. 87. Scouting Report. CAROLINA PANTHERS. player

Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB

Donte Jackson has performed largely well when he’s been on the field for the Carolina Panthers this season. The cornerback has endured some difficulties with injuries that have hampered his progress. But he can be encouraged by his level of performance with more responsibility on his shoulders following James Bradberry’s decision to leave in free agency for the New York Giants.

The former LSU standout needs to fit and firing on all cylinders against the Falcons, who possess arguably the NFL’s best wide receiver tandem in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Carolina will also be without Eli Apple after they took the shock decision to cut the veteran after he cried off practice on Tuesday, which has left their depth at a threadbare level if Rasul Douglas cannot come off the reserve/COVID-19 list in time.

This puts even more pressure on Jackson to produce the goods. There is little any cornerback can do to stop Ridley or Jones entirely, and there is every chance Matt Ryan will target the weakest link within Carolina’s secondary, which might be rookie Troy Pride Jr. if Douglas is unable to go.

Jackson has given up 13 receptions from 17 targets thrown his way this season. But his eye-catching production is further reflected in his 71.2 grade from Pro Football Focus and this is a trend that needs to continue in no uncertain terms against an exceptional passing attack.