3 second-year Carolina Panthers players who could break out in 2024

These second-year players could shine in 2024.
Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Dicaprio Bootle - Carolina Panthers CB

The Carolina Panthers' secondary has their share of legitimate questions to answer. Outside of Jaycee Horn, they don't have a single cornerback that you would look at (on paper) and say is an undebatable starting-caliber defender, especially on the outside.

There’s even a caveat for Horn, as he’s struggled mightily to stay on the field for most of his career thus far. Here’s hoping that trend changes next season.

The franchise brought in former Buffalo Bills reserve cornerback, Dane Jackson, to assumingly take the reins of the boundary corner opposite of the locked-in former Gamecock. He has ties to Dan Morgan, who was involved in the process of drafting him in the seventh round back in 2020.

But what happens if Horn misses time? Let’s assume Jackson slides over to CB1 duties - what is the contingency plan on the other side?

Dicaprio Bootle didn’t get a massive share of snaps in 2023 -183 in total, to be exact. However, in the very limited look into what he brought to the field, there were moments of brightness.

He put some solid reps on film against former Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore during the Thursday night game against the Chicago Bears. He made some impressive individual plays with pass defenses and a sturdy open-field tackle.

More than anything, Bootle’s potential projection is tethered to opportunity. It’s difficult to ignore the presumed opportunities he could be given should history repeat itself with injuries. I don’t want to paint it as he’s not worthy of competing for that CB2 position in training camp either. But the newly added Jackson is the favorite for that job.

The front office hasn’t been aggressive in bringing in another veteran presence to shore up the cornerback room. That suggests they’re more comfortable with the current structuring of the depth chart than the outside consensus may be.

Bootle showed last season that when his number is called, he’ll be ready to give you his all. That mindset pairs well with the effort-centric vibe on South Mint Street. Couple that with his aggressive approach, adequate speed, and athleticism especially in press coverage, the former Nebraska Cornhusker could be in line for a surprisingly impactful second year.