Marty Hurney, Draft 2004
This is part Three of a continuing series grading Marty Hurney’s draft picks and (eventually) free agent choices. I “think” that Marty Hurney is a very good general manager, but I don’t really know what I think until I write. This is my way of figuring things out. I hope this is helpful in some way to Cat Scratch Readers.
I’m not a big fan of trading up or trading down in the draft. Players rise, players fall. My take is: just sit tight and see what falls to us. Choose the best player available, especially in the first round. And, actually, especially in rounds 4-7. Take the best player available. If we need to pick for need, keep that in mind as a variable for rounds 2-3. Otherwise: What we don’t need this season, we might need next season. And let’s be honest: most draft choices don’t have an impact until their second or third season. That said…
Round One – CB Chris Gamble, Ohio State (traded up)… I would’ve never traded up for this guy, and I wouldn’t have selected him even if he’d fallen to the original Panther’s number 1 slot. Underclassman, inconsistent, lacks experience etc… Shows what I know!… Gamble has not been a shut-down corner, but he’s been a very good corner. My sense is that when offensive coordinators look at our back four DB’s, Gamble is the one they scheme for… This was, again, a very good First Round pick by Marty Hurney… To remind everyone: We had the likes of Rae Carruth, Jason Peters, and Tim Biakabatuka from previous GMs.
My pick would’ve been, at the time, either OG Chris Snee or LB Karlos Dansby. I’m always partial to taking the best player in the draft.
Round Two – WR Keary Colbert, USC… I would’ve made this exact same pick. This was great value and need coming together. A great number two receiver opposite Steve Smith… The only problem was that Colbert was a complete bust. I saw a future Isaac Bruce here, as I’m sure that Marty Hurney did too. What happened with this guy? Even after he left the Panthers, I expected him to take off. … Keary Colbert never caught a significant pass for the Panthers or anyone else… Though I’m on the same page with Marty Hurney with this pick, we still get the same grade: F.
Other guys on my radar screen were DT Randy Starks (still in the league, an okay player), CB Derrick Strait (What happened to this guy??), and Sean Locklear (would be starting at RG or RT for the Panthers right now).
Round Three -- OG Travelle Wharton, South Carolina… Well, he’s an outstanding guard, and a below-average tackle… If you keep him at guard, you’ve got a great 3rd round draft choice. Give Hurney props for that.
I, personally at the time, would’ve taken CB Nathan Vasher.
Round Four – We traded this pick, and we missed out, by one (!) choice in taking DE Jared Allen of Idaho State. I know that either 99% (dishonest) or 1% (honest) of the readers of this column would’ve traded up to get this Idaho State star. No matter that he was graded out as a 7th rounder. ;)
For the record, we also missed out on S Gibril Wilson, and a RB named Michael Turner. Raise your hand if you would’ve seen those bargains in the late fourth round.
Fifth round – WR Drew Carter, Ohio State… I didn’t like this pick at all. Carter was coming off an injury, and he ended up missing his entire rookie season… That said, he definitely provided his share of thrills in the later seasons, and I think it’s a fact that he helped win the Panthers at least two/three games throughout his short career. Nice speed. Nice heart. Nice pick, for the 5th round.
Raise your hand if you would’ve taken DT Corey Williams from Arkansas State instead. Really? I mean, really? Well, post about it and let’s hear about it, Nostradamus. There were no other guys, outside of OG Rex Hadnot, worth taking here.
I have to come clean here: There were four guys that I liked a lot, taken in the 7th round, that I would’ve taken much earlier. They are QB Cody Pickett, RB Quincy Wilson, OT Tony Pape, and OC Scott Wells. Wells is a very good starter for Green Bay, and the other three are out of the league.
Other picks: LB Sean Tufts and TE Michael Gaines.
Gaines made some plays, and he’s still making some plays, on the practice field at least, for some team.
My picks would’ve been, at the time, 2003: 1. OG Chris Snee, 2. WR Keary Colbert, 3. CB Nathan Vasher, 4. QB Cody Pickett, 5. OT Tony Pape, 6. RB Quincy Wilson, 7. OC Scott Wells
You guys can grade my lame draft.
I grade Marty Hurney as a C+. Chris Gamble is a legitimate starting corner in the league. Travelle Wharton is a great Guard. Drew Carter made some plays for us. I don’t know what the heck happened to Keary Colbert, but it wasn’t Hurney’s fault.
It wasn’t a great talent-draft overall for the NFL. I’ve tried to create some context for other players available. It’s not like there were many impact players past the beginning of the third round. Check the facts. And rock on.
-- Negative Man