Ranking Carolina Panthers' last 10 first-round NFL Draft picks

Some have worked out. Others, not so much...

Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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7. Jaycee Horn - Carolina Panthers CB

  • Cornerback | South Carolina Gamecocks
  • No. 8 overall | 2021 NFL Draft

If Jaycee Horn had put a consistent run of games together, he'd be much higher on this list. The cornerback's coverage capabilities are among the league's best when healthy, but reliability on the health front has not been the player's strong suit over his first three seasons.

Horn's missed considerable time through one complication or another. The Carolina Panthers have a decision to make regarding his fifth-year option this offseason, something they'd be wise to pick up in the event he stays out of the medical room.

This is a big year for Horn regardless of whether Carolina triggers his clause or not. He needs to remove the injury-prone tag and prove why the Panthers took him at No. 8 overall in one fell swoop. If he can accomplish these feats, Ejiro Evero's defense will benefit greatly.

6. Bryce Young - Carolina Panthers QB

  • Quarterback | Alabama Crimson Tide
  • No. 1 overall | 2023 NFL Draft

Things didn't go well for quarterback Bryce Young as a rookie. He looked devoid of confidence within a scheme unsuited to his outstanding attributes. Although he will be the first to admit performances could have been better, the Panthers need to shoulder a bulk of the blame for how things unfolded.

Dave Canales is making Young's development his top priority. The former Alabama star flashed enough to suggest significant improvements can arrive under an accomplished coach and with a better-supporting cast. It might go wrong, but those who've already written off the signal-caller could be eating a large piece of humble pie next season.

Potential alone places Young at No. 6 on this list. He is down, but far from out with so much of his professional career ahead.