5 most important Carolina Panthers players vs. NY Jets in Week 1

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn /

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Which Carolina Panthers players are the most important as they take on the New York Jets in Week 1?

The Carolina Panthers take the field against the New York Jets in the regular-season opener on Sunday. It’s a revenge game for many former players who turned out at MetLife Stadium in the past.

Some might say it’s a must-win for Carolina’s new quarterback Sam Darnold. The team also drafted 11 players in 2021 and a couple will contribute in their NFL debuts.

In the final preseason game, the fans got a good look at the first team. Many astonishing plays and some still questioning specific calls or positional groups in their one half of action.

The Panthers have a new starter that was not on the first team that will start for the regular-season opener. This player has a big task ahead of him and must exceed expectations.

With all that being said let me bring to you my five most important Panthers players heading into Week 1.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /

Jaycee Horn – Carolina Panthers CB

The Panthers are facing an underrated wide receiver core in New York in Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Denzel Mims. Rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn will need to be prepared for his NFL debut.

As Horn flashed in the final preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He plans to build on that and continue his play in the season.

The former South Carolina Gamecock has a noticeable pass breakup on the 49th overall pick in 2020 draft wide receiver Chase Claypool. After the play, he did his signature “Seatbelt” celebration.

Horn doesn’t need to only prepare for a talented wide receiver core, but he must watch out for the young gunslinger Zach Wilson. He is also set to make his NFL debut this Sunday.

If you give Wilson enough time, he can dot up a defense.

Horn in coverage has improved with hand placement, one of Matt Rhule’s pet peeves about him. He’s a big, physical corner who can track the ball and ruin a quarterback’s day.

Any quarterback wants to test a rookie cornerback to see what they are made of. It will be a game to watch to see if Horn can live up to the top-10 pick, he was selected to be.

This will be a battle between two young rookies that want to prove themselves in the league between Wilson and Horn. The cornerback is more than prepared for Week 1 and will be ready to dominate the Jets.