What each Carolina Panthers rookie will struggle with during 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Brady Christensen /

Which aspects of their respective games could rookie players on the Carolina Panthers struggle with during their first NFL seasons in 2021?

Relying on youth is something Matt Rhule clearly has no trouble with. Plenty of established veterans have left the Carolina Panthers since his appointment, leaving the roster looking far more energized and athletic than in previous seasons.

This obviously came with some growing pains last season, although there was far more good than bad. The Panthers acquired 11 college players via the 2021 NFL Draft during a busy period of trade activity that began by sending quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos after just one season.

Young players on the team in 2020 will have gained a tremendous amount of experience. Carolina also acquired some notable veterans during free agency to further assist their pursuit of progression next time around.

If the rookies can meet their end of the bargain, the sky is the limit. But here is one area where each first-year Panther might end up struggling in 2021.

Rookie No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /

Jaycee Horn – Carolina Panthers CB

  • Level of competition.

There doesn’t appear much doubt that Jaycee Horn is ready to take on some big responsibilities as a rookie. The cornerback wouldn’t have it any other way judging by his mentality, but that doesn’t mean the Panthers shouldn’t monitor his production against elite wide receivers who punish every mistake at the next level.

Horn shut down plenty of first-round picks during his time at South Carolina, which should stand him in good stead. But first-year corners tend to struggle for a reason and it will be up to the No. 8 overall selection to make the necessary preparations to ensure complications are kept to a minimum.

Going up against D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson at training camp should help. Horn has all the intangibles needed to be an exception to the normal rule, but expecting miracles right away might be pushing it.