4 intriguing Panthers position battles to watch during 2022 offseason

(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Rashard Higgins
(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Rashard Higgins /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Taylor Jr. /

Carolina Panthers CB3

Donte Jackson getting a new deal and the impending return of Jaycee Horn from a broken foot gives the Carolina Panthers a good starting cornerback tandem that can make some noise in 2022. Losing All-Pro Stephon Gilmore in free agency was a necessary evil considering the financial situation, but it remains to be seen whether or not it was the right call to depend on younger individuals with upside.

Just who will be occupying the No. 3 cornerback position is going to come with substantial ramifications. The potential for growth in the secondary is there for all to see, but it won’t take long to find out just what the Panthers have against some high-octane offenses next season.

C.J. Henderson is the current favorite after his trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars last year. The former first-round pick has all the physical tools needed to become a productive corner, but it just hasn’t come together as yet and if the player cannot turn things around under the guidance of Steve Wilks, his future will look incredibly bleak.

Hopes are also high regarding Keith Taylor Jr. after the 2021 fifth-round pick made a big impression as a rookie. He was not overawed in the slightest after getting more reps than many expected and if he can build on this positive momentum, the Panthers will have an absolute steal on their hands.

Whether Rashaan Melvin, Myles Hartsfield, Chris Westry, and seventh-rounder Kalon Barnes can also compete for the job remains to be seen. But at the present moment, it looks like a two-horse race.