4 Carolina Panthers players that can bounce back from disappointment in 2023

Laviska Shenault Jr.
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Carolina Panthers
C.J. Henderson / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

C.J. Henderson - Carolina Panthers CB

The prospect of C.J. Henderson ever reaching the heights anticipated during his pre-draft cycle has long gone. This was a player tabbed as the next great shutdown cornerback following a standout college career at Florida, but something just hasn't clicked over his three-year stint in the NFL so far as the draft bust tag looms large.

Henderson looks disengaged at times and has never managed to put a consistent run of performances together. The Carolina Panthers didn't pick up his fifth-year option this offseason - which was an absolute no-brainer - so it's now or never for the former first-round pick.

Things look bleak for Henderson, there's no denying that. And a scenario could emerge where the confidence level goes past the point of no return unless something drastic occurs.

However, the Panthers have shown a real lack of urgency when it comes to strengthening their cornerback options throughout free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft. This indicates a level of confidence from the new coaching staff that they can finally get a tune out of the struggling defensive back.

It's a big call for Ejiro Evero to make. But if he can get Henderson on the right career path at long last, it'll only bolster his chances of becoming an NFL head coach further.