3 Panthers Capable of Having a Breakout Season

Schuyler Callihan

The Carolina Panthers are closing in on the start of the Matt Rhule era and with a ton of youth, there is a ton of potential for several guys to put together a breakout season. Let's take a look at three guys who could be in the conversation for the Panthers breakout player of the year:

CB Donte Jackson

Through his first two years in the NFL, Donte Jackson has proven to be a solid draft pick for the Carolina Panthers. He's highly reliable and has a ton of untapped potential. Although he has performed at a high level, I don't believe we've seen the best from Jackson just yet.

One area I would like to see Jackson improve in is tackling in the open field. He makes a ton of plays when the ball is in the air, but needs to do a better job of wrapping up receivers. He has the ability to be a lockdown guy, he just has to put it all together. 

DE Stephen Weatherly

Unlike Jackson, the first two years of Weatherly's career were almost as if they never even happened. He played in 17 games and registered only eight tackles. However, he has seen quite a jump in playing time and has made strides in his development over the past two seasons, becoming a solid contributor in Minnesota's defensive rotation. 

Now that he has the ability to start right away in Carolina, he could be poised for a huge season where he sees anywhere from 25-30 more snaps per game. Rookie Yetur Gross-Matos has a high ceiling, but Weatherly seems to be in a better position to start in 2020.

TE Ian Thomas

Although I'm not extremely high on Ian Thomas, he does have potential to breakout and become a solid player. It will be tough to fill the shoes of Greg Olsen, but I don't think that offensive coordinator Joe Brady will put a ton of pressure on him. Seth DeValve and Temarrick Hemingway will be able to help Thomas ease into a bigger role in the offense.

Who do you think will be the Panthers breakout player? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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