4 first-round mistakes that continue to haunt Carolina Panthers

Mistakes were made...

Ikem Ekwonu
Ikem Ekwonu / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers ignored Micah Parsons

Hindsight is a wonderful thing to have. The Carolina Panthers would do things a lot differently under David Tepper's ownership if they had the chance. Unfortunately, life doesn't work like that.

The Panthers must learn from their errors and move forward with renewed purpose. Another contentious issue centers on the 2021 NFL Draft and their decision to select cornerback Jaycee Horn at No. 8 overall.

Nobody is disputing Horn's talent. He is a top-level coverage presence with the potential to lock down one side of the field. It's staying available for a prolonged period that's been the biggest complication.

Horn's featured just 22 times in three seasons. A constant stream of nagging injuries prevented the defensive back from reaching his true potential. Something that can hopefully change in 2024, which could be the final year of his deal unless Carolina triggers his fifth-year option.

If the Panthers had drafted Micah Parsons instead, it would have been a game-changer. The edge defender's become one of the most versatile and dominant defensive players anywhere in the league. He's also been extremely dependable, missing just one contest en route to three consecutive Pro Bowls and two All-Pro distinctions.

Imagine a pass-rushing tandem of Brian Burns and Parsons wreaking havoc for Carolina. Horn wasn't a bad pick by any stretch of the imagination. But unless his fortunes on the health front improve, there will always be a sense of regret attached to the selection.