5 things to keep a close eye on at Panthers training camp in 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Panthers training camp
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) A.J. Bouye /

Who plays where at CB

The cornerback room has far more going for it than at any stage in 2020. But just where each player slots in will ultimately be determined at Carolina Panthers training camp in the coming weeks.

There are three prominent starters that the Panthers can now use as they see fit. Donte Jackson built some real momentum at the end of the previous campaign and if he can stay injury-free this time around, it could see the former LSU star earn a big payday next spring when his contract expires.

Carolina’s decision to select Jaycee Horn at No. 8 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft is a big-time acquisition that could bring instant results. The South Carolina product has everything one looks for in a shutdown corner at the next level, although he’s sure to get a baptism of fire against some elite NFL wide receivers from the moment he steps on the field.

Horn has the athleticism and mentality to remove the stigma surrounding most first-year cornerbacks and their transition. If he can hit the ground running, the player’s partnership with Jackson could be a productive one.

Having an experienced figure such as A.J. Bouye should also help. However, the Pro Bowler is suspended for the first two games of 2021 and needs to bounce back from a down year with the Denver Broncos last season.

Perhaps his skills are best-suited to the nickel role at this stage of his career. The Panthers also need someone else to step up, with Keith Taylor, Troy Pride Jr., Rashaan Melvin, and Stantley Thomas-Oliver III vying for depth chart position at camp.