5 Carolina Panthers players who need a strong preseason in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Daviyon Nixon and Dennis Daley
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Daviyon Nixon and Dennis Daley /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Daviyon Nixon /

Daviyon Nixon – Carolina Panthers DT

Much has been made about the lack of depth across the defensive front heading into the season. The Carolina Panthers will likely address this need before Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, but they’ll also want some young members on the depth chart enhancing their claims throughout the three preseason games before any final decisions

One player under the microscope is Daviyon Nixon. The 2021 fifth-round selection showed enormous promise as a rookie before his season ended early through injury, but it’s been great to see the defensive tackle back in the thick of things for the duration of camp.

Nixon proved capable of generating pressure on a rotational basis last season. But the Panthers need to get as many reps into the Iowa product as possible to ready him for the stiff challenges that lie ahead.

Missing so much time in 2021 was a big-time blow to Nixon, who did enough to prove that the pre-draft concerns surrounding his character were nothing more than rumors. It might take time to get his football legs back in a gameday setting, so it’s worth keeping an eye on how he performs and whether conditioning is where it needs to be.

Hopes are high surrounding Nixon’s evolution on the defensive interior next season and beyond. But the lineman needs to remind people what he can do during these upcoming warmup games.