Draft Rewind – Carolina Panthers

by

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With the NFL draft rapidly approaching, let’s take a look back at each team’s hits and misses over the past 25 years.

FIVE BEST PICKS

1. Steve Smith, WR, Utah. 3rd round, #74 overall in 2001.

Ten WR went ahead of the feisty Smith in the 2001 draft, but only Reggie Wayne has been better. He missed a yr with injury, but has otherwise averaged about 70 catches, 1,000 yds, and 7 TD. As you will see later, the Panthers were otherwise dreadful finding competent WR in the draft from 1997 to 2007.

2. Charles Johnson, DE, Georgia. 3rd round, #83 overall in 2007.

Stuck behind Peppers and Mike Rucker for a year, Johnson has steadily turned into a complete DE. He is in the middle of a six yr, $76 mil deal. At that type of compensation, the Panthers will hope the 27 year-old’s next three years are as productive as the last four (44 sacks).

3. Greg Hardy, DE, Mississippi. 6th round, #175 overall in 2110.

Johnson’s running mate on the other side of the DL, Hardy was a steal in the 6th round four yrs ago. Racked up 15 sacks last year and added 38 QB hurries. The Panthers “Franchised” him a few months ago but would be wise to tie up the 25 year-old long-term, as soon as they can afford it.

4. Captain Munnerlyn, CB, South Carolina. 7th round, 216 overall in 2009.

Munnerlyn was the 28th of 32 cornerbacks drafted in 2009, and only Vontae Davis and Keenan Lewis have considerably out performed him. Though not a ballhawk, he has an incredible five interception returns for touchdowns on just seven career interceptions. Carolina let him walk this year and he signed with Minnesota on a three-year deal.

5. Julius Peppers, DE, North Carolina. 1st round, #2 overall in 2002.

You have to perform very well to be considered a great pick when you go #2 overall, and Peppers has: Defensive ROTY, 2004 Defensive POTY, eight Pro Bowls, and a three-time 1st-team All-Pro. Carolina certainly had a lot of potential to make the wrong pick; the other five picks in the top six read like a Hall of Busts: QBs Joey Arrington & David Carr, OT Mike Williams, CB Quentin Jammer, and DT Ryan Sims. Zero pro bowls between them, and 12 years later only the future Hall of Famer Peppers is on an NFL roster.

FIVE WORST PICKS

Rae Carruth, WR, Colorado. 1st round, #27 overall in 1997.

1. This was a bad pick before Carruth hired his friend to kill a girl who was pregnant with his son. This scumbag will be released from prison in Oct of 2018; the child survived, and is now 14 years old. SI did a great article on his son two years ago. Apparently, this turd of a human being had earlier thoughts of doing the same thing to other women in his life. Anyway, obviously a terrible pick by Carolina.

2. Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC. 2nd round, #45 overall in 2007.

Jarrett was the poster child for bad Carolina WR draft picks. The two-time All-American left USC after setting a Pac-10 record for receiving TDs (41 in three yrs). In four years with the Panthers, Jarrett started three games, caught 35 passes, and racked up more DUIs (2) than TDs (1). No NFL team gave him another contract. Jarrett, Carruth, and Keary Colbert, another bust WR from USC who barely missed this list, were among 10 Carolina WRs drafted in the 5th rd or higher in 20 yrs as a franchise. Only Smith and Mushim Muhammad were serviceable. Interestingly enough, the Panthers decided NOT to draft a WR in 8 of 19 drafts.

3. Jason Peter, DL, Nebraska. 1st round, #14 overall in 1998.

Peter entered the league two years after his brother, Christian (a certified shitbag that had eight run-ins with the law while at Nebraska). Jason started just 20 games in four yrs before retiring with “chronic neck problems”. A few years later, he wrote a memoir about all the years he spent addicted to pain killers, cocaine, and heroin. Stuff like that is easy to find when you sign a $5 million contract.

4. Tim Biakabutuka, RB, Michigan. 1st round, #8 overall in 1996.

Biakabutuka was not a terrible NFL RB; he ran for over 2500 yds in his career, and had another 789 yds receiving. He even finished second in the league in yards per carry (5.2) in 1999. But he was drafted in the top 10, and you have to come harder than that to stay off this list. To his credit (discredit?), he was consistently injured and never played more than 11 games in his six-year career.

5. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame. 2nd round, #48 overall in 2010.

Clausen left Notre Dame a year early, thinking he would be a top-ten pick. He went in the second round and was beat out by Matt Moore for the starting job. Forced into service when Moore got hurt, he was terrible his rookie year. The Panthers liked him so much, they drafted Cam Newton #1 overall the next year. He was then beat out in the preseason for the #2 job by Derek Anderson. He sat for two yrs and was released last fall. He is now a free agent (which is a nice way of saying that nobody wants him on their roster).

Stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com

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