4 Carolina Panthers entering make-or-break situations in 2023

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Corral
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Corral /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Taylor Jr. /

Keith Taylor Jr. – Carolina Panthers CB

Considering the encouragement surrounding Keith Taylor Jr. this time last year, nothing could be further from the truth right now. The cornerback took a major step backward in 2022, tumbling down the rotation and failing to capitalize on prominent reps when they arrived.

Taylor’s completion percentage allowed came in at 68.6 percent, which was down on his rookie campaign but not exactly what many anticipated. Perhaps most concerning was his passer rating allowed when targeted, which rocketed up to 129.0 as a result of his efforts.

This leaves Taylor’s future with the Carolina Panthers hanging in the balance. To put it mildly.

While there’s a chance some improved coaching can get him back on track, there’s just no telling for sure. And those in power won’t hesitate to strengthen their options if the right opportunities present themselves in free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft.

Taylor has a clean sheet under the Panthers’ new staff team. If the former fifth-round pick out of Washington bounces back, then he can expect a rotational role within Ejiro Evero’s 3-4 base scheme that features plenty of nickel packages.

If not, then it’s not going to end well for the player. Whether that’s by becoming a depth chart afterthought or being removed from the equation entirely is another matter.