Carolina Panthers 2023 training camp: 3 things I'll be watching

What storylines could be worth watching at Carolina Panthers training camp in 2023?
Bryce Young and Frank Reich
Bryce Young and Frank Reich / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers secondary concerns

After Bryce Young, the Carolina Panthers secondary may be the unit that I have the most intrigue in. Much of this comes in the form of question marks.

This may sound a bit counterintuitive, but the only player that I don’t have a question about in the secondary is the newest member - free agent addition, safety Vonn Bell. He provides the direly needed upgrade in coverage skills at the back of the defense.

Every single other player has a question mark casting a shadow across their name. Jaycee Horn’s is a concern of durability. Though he recently proclaimed himself not to be injury prone, the elite cornerback has already been on the mend from a mild ankle ailment he sustained while working out this offseason.

Veteran ballhawk, Donte Jackson, is coming off an Achilles injury and had already begun drawing the ire of the fanbase even prior to missing significant time.

The team didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on C.J. Henderson, making the 2023 season one of utmost importance for the inconsistent young player. The former first-round pick has every measurable you want from an NFL cornerback. He also has plenty of stomach-turning game film to detract from the obvious physical potential.

Keith Taylor Jr. finds himself in a relatively similar situation as Henderson - where he has all the tools and he’s even flashed on the field of play - but he’s also seen his most memorable impressions stem from instances he’d most likely prefer people to forget.

Stantley Thomas-Oliver III has received some positive acknowledgment during OTA’s and such, but he’s given little evidence to suggest he would be in line to provide a major impact to the overall unit. Undrafted free agent, Rejzohn Wright, has become a popular name tossed about by fans as a hopeful solution to the problem. But it’s important to be prudent when considering his likelihood of making any significant contributions should he make the 53-man roster.

And I haven’t even said Jeremy Chinn’s name, yet. After his rookie season, fans were foaming at the mouth thinking about potentially having this Swiss army knife weapon roaming the defensive side of the field.

Then it became almost a cause of concern, his versatility and how he was being deployed. Is he a tweener that doesn’t have a home out there? Or maybe the question is - have previous coaching staffs misused this dynamic defender entirely? Maybe Ejiro Evero opens the proverbial treasure chest for the former Saluki.

But where does that have him lining up and how often will he be on the field, considering the quasi-crowded room of Xavier Woods, Bell, the aforementioned Chinn, Eric Rowe, and rookie Jammie Robinson competing for opportunities?

Evero, Jonathan Cooley, and newcomer-to-coaching DeAngelo Hall all have stripes when it comes to obtaining success in the secondary, so the Panthers should feel confident they’ll get a true look at this group in 2023. Training camp should be our first chance to gain some clarity on the overall cloudy secondary corp.