Ranking the Panthers' Last 10 First-Round Picks, Worst to Best

Carolina has done a great job identifying talent in the first round over the years
Where does Bryce Young rank among Panthers' first-round picks over the last decade?
Where does Bryce Young rank among Panthers' first-round picks over the last decade? / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 5

8. CB Jaycee Horn (2021)

Jaycee Horn was widely considered among the best defensive prospects available and worthy of the No. 8 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, he's missed 29 of a possible 51 games due to injury, stunting his development and making it difficult to get a true evaluation on him.

He played in just three games during his rookie campaign, notching one interception, and lasted only six in 2023. When Horn was healthy for an extended stretch in 2022, he had 53 tackles, seven deflected passes and three interceptions while allowing a passer rating of just 62.4 when targeted.

If he can stay healthy, Horn should have a bright future in the NFL. He's capable of shadowing opposing receivers and has great size for the position, displaying the traits that made him a top-10 pick.

I'm hoping this is the year Horn can stay on the field and deliver on the promise he's shown.

7. QB Bryce Young (2023)

Bryce Young was dealt a poor hand in his rookie campaign, but it's hard to imagine a worse start to the former Alabama star's career. He completed just 59.8% of his passes with 11 TDs to 10 interceptions while taking 62 sacks and posting a QB rating of 73.7.

Making matters worse, the hefty price Carolina paid to trade up for Young wound up landing Chicago the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, presumably to take Caleb Williams. Williams is a superior prospect to Young, so there's an opportunity cost baked in here as well.

He's had bright spots, like when he threw for 312 yards and a pair of TDs against the Packers late in the season, and I'm optimistic that an improved supporting cast led by WR Diontae Johnson will help. Even still, it'll be difficult for Panthers fans to stomach watching Williams complete passes to DJ Moore this season while wondering what could have been.