5 major observations from Day 1 of Panthers 2022 mandatory minicamp

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Bradley Bozeman
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Bradley Bozeman /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Taylor Jr. /

Carolina Panthers CB Keith Taylor catches the eye

It might only be a minicamp, but leaving a good impression will be among the top priorities for those looking to enhance their depth chart status. What transpires in training camp arguably matters more, but getting off on the right foot is critical to laying the foundations for a successful campaign.

One player who did just that was Keith Taylor Jr. The cornerback caught the eye in no uncertain terms according to Jonathan Alexander of The Charlotte Observer, almost picking off Sam Darnold and coming up with a nice pass breakup on the same signal-caller to round off an outstanding day at the office.

Taylor impressed more often than not last season after getting notable reps earlier than anticipated following a long-term injury to Jaycee Horn. There were obvious times of struggle, but the Carolina Panthers definitely got themselves a high-value selection when they took the Washington product in the fifth round in 2021.

An opportunity could knock once again for Taylor as a sophomore. Stephon Gilmore is now on the Indianapolis Colts, so there should be an intriguing battle between the second-year-pro and CJ Henderson for the No. 3 cornerback spot in camp.

This is a good start, but no more than that. What comes next for Taylor throughout the summer will tell us plenty about what strides he can make when competitive games come around.