4 Panthers to watch in preseason Week 2 vs. Ravens

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On Saturday night, the Carolina Panthers will welcome in the Baltimore Ravens at Bank of America Stadium for their second exhibition contest of the summer. So who’s going to show out for the first home crowd of 2021 tonight?

Well, hopefully for them, it’s the four players that you’re about to see below. But whether do they or not, they’re still worth keeping on eye on.

Here are four Panthers to watch here in Week 2 of the preseason.

QB Will Grier

Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Will Grier said he'd be ready for the next opportunity that comes his way. Well . . . incoming! The third-year quarterback is still trying to establish himself as a player worth investing in moving forward, whether that be as the No. 2 on the depth chart for now or a potential option down the line for a more meaningful role. He didn't get much of a chance to prove that last week in Indianapolis, as he ran with the third-string unit and was handcuffed for just ten throws. Saturday night, however, should be much different. Head coach Matt Rhule assured reporters that he wants to see more of Grier as the summer winds down. That showcase must be a greater one for the 2019 third-rounder tonight, in quantity and quality.

WR Shi Smith

Spartanburg Herald-Journal

As the roster will continue to takes its regular-season shape, rookie wideout Shi Smith will be a favorite to stick on come Week 1. A standout performance or two in some real action, though, may make him a lock in securing one of the team's final receiver spots. The sixth-round pick has drawn the attention of the Carolina coaching staff thus far, and others in and around camp as well. Just ask Ravens safety Geno Stone if he noticed him this past week. Smith's first preseason game saw him reel in a nice 26-yard catch on a go route down the sideline, one he held onto after a sharp hit from over the top. Look for more moments like this, and you may also be looking at a member of the 53-man roster.

DT Daviyon Nixon

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Defensive coordinator Phil Snow joked that the team would "never hear the end" of Nixon following his standout two-interception performance on Thursday. But, as long as the rookie keeps doing stuff like that, Snow probably won't mind the jawing from here on out. The fifth-rounder flashed the athleticism the Panthers were quite infatuated with on draft day against Baltimore in practice. He chalked up his first pick on a tipped ball from linebacker Frankie Luvu, then soon put forth an encore with another in coverage. Nixon got the starting nod last week in Indianapolis and should get another solid look here at home. Does he have an encore for the encore?

CB Jacyee Horn

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

When Rhule said he'd run some of the starters, we didn't know which ones he was specifically referring to. But Horn, the team's newest and shiniest toy, has to be the projected starter fans are most looking forward to seeing. The 2021 eighth overall pick has been exactly who Carolina has wanted him to be in summer workouts, sticking on his assignments rather well and serving as an "alpha male" on the part of the defense. Now, let's see it translate onto an actual field of play. Although it may not be for long, anything we can see from Horn on Saturday will scratch that itch. [vertical-gallery id=639324]

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