3 big Panthers takeaways from Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft

Dean Jones
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /

Carolina Panthers could have a special defense

The Carolina Panthers have focused a lot of their attention on the defensive side of the football over the last two seasons, and with good reason. This area of the field was nothing short of a disaster before the new regime came on board. But Jaycee Horn’s acquisition might be the missing piece of the puzzle providing they can get a long-term partner for Jeremy Chinn at the safety position at some stage during the 2021 NFL Draft.

As it stands, the Panthers have a defensive front that looks like this.

  • Brian Burns – DE
  • Derrick Brown – DT
  • DaQuan Jones/Morgan Fox (3-T) – DT
  • Yetur Gross-Matos/Haason Reddick – DE

Few would argue that this doesn’t have the potential to be a formidable unit and one that should help the linebacking group far better than they managed to do in 2020.

  • Shaq Thompson – OLB
  • Denzel Perryman – ILB
  • Jermaine Carter/Haason Reddick – OLB

There is a lot more energy at the second level now, which went through the expected struggles following the retirement of Luke Kuechly. Carolina’s front seven looks like a force to be reckoned with, with their secondary also looking much improved heading into the new campaign.

  • Donte Jackson – CB
  • A.J. Bouye – CB
  • Jaycee Horn – CB
  • Jeremy Chinn – S
  • Juston Burris – S

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It wouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world to see the Panthers draft a safety on Day 2 to put alongside Chinn, especially with Trevon Moehrig falling out of the first round. But the addition of Horn only enhances a young, hungry, and athletic group that could be one of the league’s best if everything falls into place.