5 young Panthers players who may beat out veterans in camp

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(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith
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(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Daviyon Nixon /

Daviyon Nixon – Carolina Panthers DT

Another who slid in the 2021 NFL Draft due to major character concerns was Daviyon Nixon. The defensive tackle’s production was unquestioned during his time at Iowa but reports suggested his off-the-field issues were so concerning that some teams wiped him off their big board entirely.

The Carolina Panthers have shown a willingness to give players like this a chance. This has come with mixed success so far, but if Nixon is humbled by his concerning draft slide and reacts in a positive fashion, then defensive coordinator Phil Snow has a real player on his hands.

Nixon is an absolute menace on the interior that has the potential to cause havoc on any given down. His relentless motor is matched by a pass-rushing technique that allows him to get to the spot extremely quickly for a player his size and although there is some refinement needed against the run, there is plenty to work with from a coaching standpoint.

The Panthers brought in DaQuan Jones and Morgan Fox in free agency, so there isn’t any immediate pressure on Nixon to make an instant contribution. However, if he can display the right attitude, progress well during team drills, and make his time on the field during preseason games count, then he might just earn a prominent spot on the rotation during his rookie campaign.