5 Panthers who’ve blown away expectations at the 2021 midseason point

Dean Jones
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
4 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Taylor Jr. /

Keith Taylor Jr. – Carolina Panthers CB

It’s been a relatively small sample size for Keith Taylor Jr., but the Carolina Panthers already look to have a draft steal on their hands. The cornerback has handled his responsibilities in encouraging fashion this season and providing there is further development, it’s another strong addition to a secondary that’s loaded with talent.

Taylor worked closely with the Panthers coaching staff at the 2021 Senior Bowl before they picked him up in the fifth round. It was a slow introduction into the rotation for the Washington product, but he’s made up for lost time with some impressive displays in coverage.

Just how much Taylor plays between now and the end of the season is up for debate.

Carolina has Donte Jackson, Stephon Gilmore, and A.J. Bouye to call upon. Recent acquisition C.J. Henderson is also set to play a part providing there are no more complications with his shoulder problem.

Couple this with Jaycee Horn potentially returning later on and it’s not hard to see why things look bleak for Taylor in pursuit of meaningful reps.

Keeping the bigger picture in mind was always going to be prudent where Taylor is concerned. He’s done everything the Panthers have asked from him and more so far, which could lead to a prominent spot on the depth chart as soon as next season.