5 under-the-radar Panthers players who must step up at the Falcons

Dean Jones
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Keith Taylor Jr.
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Keith Taylor Jr. /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Taylor Jr. /

Keith Taylor Jr. – Carolina Panthers CB

The threat posed by Kyle Pitts is a serious one. Drafted at No. 4 overall by the Atlanta Falcons, the tight end came in as a generational talent and after a slow start, he’s really come into his own over the last few weeks.

Pitts is virtually unplayable. A matchup nightmare that few players in the NFL can cope with on a consistent play-by-play basis.

The Carolina Panthers don’t have stud rookie Jaycee Horn to call upon, who coped with Pitts well overall when South Carolina took on Florida in college. But others now need to step up and try to limit his exceptional talents.

This task might fall on the shoulders of Keith Taylor Jr. judging by recent performances. Donte Jackson will be up against Calvin Ridley and it remains to be seen just how much Stephon Gilmore will play if he gets activated from the physically unable to perform list.

Couple this with C.J. Henderson being brought along slowly and it’s not hard to see why Taylor might be heavily involved.

Taylor has more than held his own in coverage over the last two games. He is impressive in press situations and has the size to at least keep pace with Pitts if given the responsibility.

Whether he can cope with this challenge or not is another matter.