5 Carolina Panthers who are already turning heads at 2024 OTAs

Some players have staked an early claim this offseason.
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Jaycee Horn - Carolina Panthers CB

Jaycee Horn has a significant amount of responsibility on his shoulders in 2024. The cornerback is entering his fourth season and remains one of the league's best outside coverage presences when fit and firing on all cylinders. That's exactly what he needs to be if the Carolina Panthers want to stand any chance of emerging from rock bottom.

Horn's featured in just 22 games over three years thanks to a series of frustrating injuries. From a broken foot to a seriously torn hamstring, it's been one complication after another and left many wondering whether the Panthers can depend on the former first-round pick long-term.

Couple this with a distinct lack of options within the cornerback room, and it's not hard to see this group becoming a weak link if Horn goes down once again. Fortunately for the South Carolina product, he's made an imposing start to Carolina's organized team activities.

After altering his offseason training regime to limit the risk of additional injury problems arising, Horn looks in great shape. He's added some muscle mass without losing the explosiveness that makes him such a worthwhile asset. Hopefully, this hard work pays off and the defensive back can finally begin to put a consistent run of games together.

The Panthers believe Horn is capable of this and more. Dan Morgan triggered the player's fifth-year option before the start of workouts. This is a supreme vote of confidence - one that also keeps every option open from the team's perspective depending on performance levels in 2024.

It would be surprising if the Panthers didn't add another cornerback or two before Week 1. Speculation linking Stephon Gilmore with a return to the franchise hasn't gone away just yet despite Morgan hinting that he's turned his attention elsewhere. Any help Horn receives is a bonus, but the onus is on Carolina's undisputed No. 1 option to stay healthy and perform as fans know he can.