4 Carolina Panthers players who could take a step back in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) A.J. Bouye
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) A.J. Bouye /
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Carolina Panthers
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) A.J. Bouye /

A.J. Bouye – Carolina Panthers CB

The Carolina Panthers needed to get better in their cornerback room this offseason. Outside of No. 1 option Donte Jackson, there wasn’t much in the way of consistency from anybody else and this is something that restricted defensive coordinator Phil Snow’s scheme in crucial moments.

Getting off the field on third down was a constant frustration during the campaign. But the Panthers managed to strengthen this area of the field with some eye-catching recruits in free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.

No. 8 overall selection Jaycee Horn comes with Pro Bowl potential and has made a lasting impression during his first few weeks with the franchise. Keith Taylor Jr. was also taken in the fifth round and can assist in press coverage, which Carolina desperately needs.

A.J. Bouye was also brought in, although he won’t be available for the first two games due to suspension. The former Pro Bowler has bags of experience and should help, but his performances for the Denver Broncos in 2020 might indicate he’s on the start of a downward slope.

Cornerbacks tend to fall off a cliff quickly.

It’s a brutal position to play as every mistake gets punished, so Bouye needs to raise his game accordingly and it won’t take long to find out just how much he’ll be able to contribute as the season goes on.