Ranking the 10 best Carolina Panthers players under 25 years old in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Daviyon Nixon /

87. . DT. Carolina Panthers. DAVIYON NIXON. 9. player

Daviyon Nixon – Carolina Panthers DT

Although it was a small sample size from Daviyon Nixon in 2021 before his season was cut short due to injury, there was a lot to like about how the defensive tackle performed in a competitive setting. The former fifth-round pick’s concerning slide during the draft ended up being a good thing for the Carolina Panthers, with the Iowa product coming in with a huge chip on his shoulder and integrating superbly.

Nixon deservedly earned a spot on the defensive line rotation and generated pressure well when called upon. It’s been a long road back for the player, but hopes remain high that he can progress into even more of a factor in 2022 and beyond.

There will be opportunities for Nixon next season providing there are no lingering effects on the health front. Although Derrick Brown and Matt Ioannidis are likely to start on the interior, there is nothing to suggest he cannot become a true No. 3 and Carolina’s primary backup as a sophomore.

Nixon has a unique blend of size and athleticism. But questions about his commitment and character saw him go from a projected second-round selection way into the fifth round before the Panthers swooped.

This already looks like a superb bit of value for the Panthers. If Nixon reaches or even exceeds the level expected next season, then a potential starting gig in 2023 is well within his capabilities.