How did the Carolina Panthers’ rookies fare vs. NY Jets in Week 1?
The Carolina Panthers started the season 1-0, beating the New York Jets with help from their young rookies.
The Carolina Panthers’ rookies took the field for the first time on Sunday against the New York Jets, and they did a good job of contributing and making plays.
Jaycee Horn and Terrace Marshall Jr. headlined the action. But a few other Panthers rookies made their competitive NFL debuts as well.
We took a look at how each first-year-pro contributed to a morale-boosting Week 1 victory.
Jaycee Horn – Carolina Panthers CB
Horn made his presence felt early, showing his physicality to make a tackle for a loss. He showed why he was a top draft pick on the few targets the cornerback received.
The South Carolina product was only targeted three times and allowed a single catch. Sadly, on that one completion, Horn was split second behind, and Jets receiver Corey Davis caught the ball in the end zone.
Horn’s defensive positioning on routes looked elite versus the Jets, and he kept flying up to try and stop run plays to further enhance his influence.
Watching Horn finally take the field confirmed what most Panthers’ fans already thought. The kid can play.
He looked very comfortable and is an immediate upgrade at the cornerback position.
Terrace Marshall Jr. – Carolina Panthers WR
Marshall Jr. also received a lot of snaps in Week 1, playing in 34 out of 64 offensive snaps. He made an immediate impact, bringing in three catches for 26 yards on six targets.
The second-round pick got a look in the red zone from quarterback Sam Darnold, but they couldn’t connect.
The only two players on Carolina who received more targets than Marshall Jr. were Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore. So it’s safe to say he has already earned Darnold’s trust.
Tommy Tremble – Carolina Panthers TE
Rookie tight end Tremble wasn’t on the field too often – only getting 12 offensive snaps – but when he was his run blocking presence was felt.
He helped seal the edge by picking up two blockers on a D.J. Moore jet-sweep on third-and-one. Tremble has a ways to go before he’ll be a viable option in the passing attack, but he looked great run blocking Sunday.
Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers RB
Oklahoma State product, running back Chuba Hubbard, only got seven offensive snaps on Sunday, but he flashed explosiveness and managed to haul in two catches for four yards.
His role will be minimal throughout the year because of McCaffrey, but he’ll be a solid backup.
The rest of the rookies
I was surprised to see rookie defensive tackle Dayvion Nixon log 12 snaps on defense, as the Panthers already have a ton of defensive line depth. But it’s encouraging to see a young guy taking reps and generating some notable pressure when called upon.
Rookie offensive linemen Brady Christensen and Deonte Brown didn’t take the field in the season opener, but they’ll be two guys to watch on the offensive line depth chart as the year continues.
Overall, the Panthers’ rookie class showed a bunch of talent. It will be exciting to see how these players expand upon their roles in their first year in the league.