5 Carolina Panthers players with big shoes to fill in 2022

(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Damien Wilson
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Damien Wilson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /

Jaycee Horn – Carolina Panthers CB

  • Shoes to fill – Stephon Gilmore

Although Stephon Gilmore featured just nine times for the Carolina Panthers following his trade from the New England Patriots, not bringing him back in free agency was a big call to make. He is an All-Pro and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year for a reason – credentials that don’t exactly grow on trees across the league.

This was the biggest indicator yet that Jaycee Horn is the new shutdown guy for the Panthers to depend on. His production was exceptional but brief as a rookie in 2021, so there is a lot to like about his chances moving forward providing there are no ill effects from the broken foot suffered in Week 3 at the Houston Texans.

Horn certainly looks the part if his workout videos on social media are any indication. The No. 8 overall selection last year has the size and athleticism to impose himself on any wide receiver, which is matched by footwork that is extraordinary for a man his size.

The Panthers will likely give Horn the responsibility of locking down the opposition’s best receiving option and follow them all over the field. A challenge that the South Carolina product is going to relish from start to finish.

If Horn reaches or even exceeds some lofty expectations, then a Pro Bowl selection and potential NFL Comeback Player of the Year title is not out of the question.