4 candidates for Carolina Panthers training camp MVP in 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB

It’s put up or shut up time for Donte Jackson. The fourth-year cornerback from LSU is entering the final year of his rookie deal and if he wants to get paid he’ll have to prove it on the field this season.

Jackson has shown flashes of great skill and talent through his first three seasons. But he’s also been inconsistent and that has to change.

For starters, his tackles have gone down dramatically since his rookie year.

In 2020, Jackson had fewer combined tackles than he did in 2019 despite starting in three more games. The 25-year-old also missed 24.4 percent of his tackles, the highest rate in his career.

To be fair, Jackson dealt with a nagging toe injury in 2020 and never quite looked 100 percent himself. Despite the setbacks, he looked much better against the pass, allowing a career-best 56.9 completion percentage when targeted last season.

Defensive coordinator Phil Snow and the Carolina Panthers coaching staff have expressed confidence that Jackson can return to form. And the young cornerback may have more to prove at training camp than any starter on the team.

With focus and dedication, Jackson has all the tools to stand out the most at training camp.