Re-grading the Panthers 2021 NFL Draft class after Year No. 2

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Keith Taylor Jr. /

Keith Taylor Jr. – Carolina Panthers CB

  • No. 166 overall selection

After an encouraging rookie campaign on the rotation, Keith Taylor Jr. regressed considerably whenever prominent reps came his way in 2022. The Carolina Panthers needed him to step up in the wake of Donte Jackson’s latest injury problem, but it was a challenge he couldn’t rise to more often than not.

Taylor was lackluster in coverage and was often victimized by opposing offenses. None more so than during Carolina’s crucial Week 17 encounter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that eventually decided the NFC South title.

Draft Grade: C-

This offseason is a pivotal one for Taylor. Any further inconsistencies could see the one-time Washington standout on the outside looking in depending on what reinforcements are acquired.

Daviyon Nixon – Former Carolina Panthers DT

  • No. 158 overall selection

There was a lot to like about Daviyon Nixon’s integration into the defensive rotation. However, the Iowa product suffered a long-term injury at the worst time – something he was unable to fully recover from.

Nixon was waived in 2022 before coming back onto the practice squad. He was removed entirely soon after before making his way to the Seattle Seahawks, where he didn’t last long.

Draft Grade: D

There will always be a case of regret for Nixon in Carolina. Had he not suffered the injury, things might have been different.