4 Carolina Panthers players set for big things in 2021

(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB

Although the 2020 season was a frustrating one for Donte Jackson, there was plenty to like about the way he finished over the final few games. The cornerback dealt with a troublesome toe injury during the early portion of the campaign that eventually saw the former second-round pick forced to take a significant period of rest before and after the bye that lasted a month in total.

Jackson came back a completely different player and looked every bit the No. 1 corner the Carolina Panthers hoped he would be when they decided to let James Bradberry walk in favor of a big-money move to the New York Giants in free agency.

The player’s stats for the 2020 season – especially considering the injury problems complicating matters – were hugely encouraging.

  • 3 interceptions
  • 11 passes defended
  • 56.9% completion allowed
  • 34 tackles
  • 443 receiving yards conceded
  • 11 missed tackles (24.4%)
  • 70.4 PFF grade

All this from just 57 percent of Carolina’s defensive snaps.

This upcoming season is a big one for Jackson, who is heading into the final year of his rookie deal. There is a chance the Panthers extend him before things get too complicated next spring. But if he can stay healthy and build on this positive momentum, it is sure to come with a big payday when the LSU product heads to the bargaining table.

Carolina has plenty of uncertainty surrounding other cornerbacks on the depth chart. But in Jackson, they could potentially possess a shutdown presence on the outside who solves a significant problem in the process.