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Best VALUE draft picks in Panther History


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Eliminate the first round in your heads.  Do it now! 

To me, the focus for real Panther fans begins with picks 39, 93, and 114 --that will ultimately determine the quality of his draft.  This got me to pondering.  As I pondered, I asked myself, "Who are the 13 best Panther VALUE picks ever?" I am excluding first rounders because they should perform at the highest levels.

Here is a link for reference:


It is important to remember that this list comes from 27 years of drafting--185 picks between rounds 2 and 7 over that time, and here are the best values from all those picks (the top 7%).  Some were good players, not great, but you must consider the round the player was taken  vs. his productivity here in Carolina.  I could have added Evan Mathis, for example, but he was not productive until he left Carolina, so he did not make the list.

Here is my list of the top 13 Panther values after ROUND 1 (performance considering Round selected is factored into the opinion): 

  • 1995 Round 4 (132)    C Frank Garcia    Washington    1995-2000
  • 1999 Round 2 (38)    DE Mike Rucker    Nebraska    1999-2007
  • 2001 Round 2 (44)    DT Kris Jenkins    Maryland    2001-07
  • 2001 Round 3 (74)    WR Steve Smith    Utah    2001-13
  • 2004 Round 3 (94)    T Travelle Wharton    South Carolina    2004-11, 2013
  • 2007 Round 2 (59)    C Ryan Kalil    USC    2007-18
  • 2007 Round 3 (83)    DE Charles Johnson    Georgia    2007-17
  • 2010 Round 6 (175)    DE Greg Hardy    Mississippi    2010-14
  • 2012 Round 5 (143)    CB Josh Norman    Coastal Carolina 2012-2015 
  • 2013  Round 2 (44)    DT Kawann Short    Purdue    2013-20
  • 2014 Round 3 (92)    G Trai Turner    LSU    2014-19
  • 2016 Round 2 (62)    CB James Bradberry    Samford    2016-19
  • 2017 Round 2 (64)    T Taylor Moton   Western Michigan    2017-pres

Honorable Mention: Charles Godfrey; Jeremy Chinn (too early to tell)

Best value overall: Steve Smith.  Runners Up:  Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson

There could be some argument here, but the round counts--if a player in the second round in one draft was a bit better than a sixth rounder on this list, then which was the best VALUE? 

Several Key Takeaways:

1. Finding talent on day 2 is harder than it looks in mocks.  Most of those players do not pan out.  To think we can fill 5 holes on draft day is silly.  

2. Bill Polian may have found us a path to the Super Bowl by manipulating the expansion provisions, but he SUCKED in the draft.

3. Marty Hurney was actually good at one time.  The 2001 (he was with the organization but not GM until 2002) and 2007 drafts were incredible.

4.  Once you look through these drafts and see the elite players that emerged from rounds 2-7, it should give you perspective.  So if we had 1 need to fill in this draft, where should it be?  Edge?  CB?  WR?  G?  I think we'd be lucky to find a QB and fill 2 needs effectively.

5. Check out the 2001 draft--Morgan, Jenkins, Smith---sure does explain the 2003 Super Bowl--the 2007 draft with Beason, Kalil, and Charles Johnson was also strong--If Jarrett became a stud, it would have been the best draft.

      6. FIve of the 13 were offensive linemen.  Just sayin'.


Edited by MHS831
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Captain Munnerlyn. 7th Round. 

Became one of the top nickel corners in all the NFL.  That's extreme value.  Panthers just ended up mismanaging him by putting him outside because they had no one else that could play. 

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13 minutes ago, therealmjl said:

Let's talk opposite end of the spectrum, I'll start with Eric Shelton and Brandon Hogan

Another thread altogether, but the thought did enter my mind.  It would be harder to keep that list under 50.

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