4 battles to watch closely at Carolina Panthers rookie minicamp

Dean Jones
(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via IMAGN images) Deonte Brown /

Deonte Brown vs. Daviyon Nixon

This one won’t be for the faint-hearted.

Deonte Brown and Daviyon Nixon will go head-to-head during team drills and it’s something you won’t want to miss. The formidable pair arrive at the Carolina Panthers on the back of dropping in the 2021 NFL Draft despite some outstanding college production. This was reportedly down to character concerns, so what we see from them away from the gridiron will be equally as important as what transpires on it.

Both are extremely physical at the point of attack. Nixon generated some real pressure with the Iowa Hawkeyes last season, but he’ll find life difficult against Brown’s mammoth interior presence in no uncertain terms.

There are some weight issues that need monitoring constantly where Brown is concerned. However, his production in run or pass blocking with the Alabama Crimson Tide was firmly established and it would be a shock if he wasn’t in contention for a starting role in Week 1 with a strong offseason.

As for Nixon, he might just be the steal of the draft and earn a place on the defensive line rotation that should be one area of real strength for the Panthers next season if everything clicks into place right away.