5 most important additions of the Panthers’ 2021 offseason

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn /

Jaycee Horn – Carolina Panthers CB

One of the biggest frustrations where the Carolina Panthers were concerned in 2020 was their lack of ability to get off the field on third down. This came thanks in no small part to sloppy man coverage skills at cornerback, which forced defensive coordinator Phil Snow to deploy a zone scheme that opposing offenses were able to pick apart at will when the front seven failed to generate pressure.

In the pass-happy world of the NFC South, this was unacceptable and something that needed to be addressed even with Donte Jackson fully healthy. The Panthers picked up former Pro Bowler A.J. Bouye in free agency, but the most telling move in this area of the field was their bold decision to select Jaycee Horn at No. 8 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The South Carolina product thrives in press coverage and locked down some of the best college football had to offer last season. Horn plays every down with ruthless aggression, physicality at the point of attack, and a fierce determination that makes him an extreme force to be reckoned with.

Horn will obviously go through the sort of growing pains normally associated with rookie cornerbacks during their initial transition. But if he can adjust quickly then it could be the missing piece to the puzzle for Carolina’s secondary.