5 emerging alphas on the Carolina Panthers in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /

Jaycee Horn – Carolina Panthers CB

Jaycee Horn wasted no time in establishing himself as an alpha last summer. The gifted cornerback had a mentality that became a breath of fresh air from the moment he stepped onto the field in training camp and this managed to transition well to a competitive setting before disaster struck in Week 3 at the Houston Texans.

Horn suffered a broken foot and the Carolina Panthers were never quite the same on defense without him. That seems strange to say regarding a rookie who played just 2.5 contests, but it’s a testament to how well the former first-round pick adjusted to the NFL.

It took Horn some time to recuperate, but the South Carolina product is raring to go and keen to make up for some lost time. This is only going to help the Panthers as they look to finally achieve something under Matt Rhule.

One thing that stands out where Horn is concerned is he talks the talk but backs it up. Mistakes are few and far between, with the player’s length and overall athleticism key components behind his shutdown capabilities.

If there are no further problems on the injury front, then the sky’s the limit for Horn in 2022 and beyond. Carolina took a calculated risk by choosing him over quarterback Justin Fields, but there is nothing to suggest it wasn’t the right call despite the ongoing complications under center.