Carolina Panthers' 2009 Draft- A retrospective

 

The Carolina Panthers’ 2009 draft was supposed to be a fairly quiet affair, with the team making a splash in 2008 trading their 1st round pick in 2009 to Philadelphia so they could acquire OT Jeff Otah. Many pundits assumed the Panthers would stay put, pick to fill the roster with some depth and reload for the 2009 season.

Many of Carolina’s preseason issues came from Julius Peppers’ contract situation. Peppers wanted out of Carolina and the team could not satiate his desires. This greatly effected and molded the Panthers’ draft as it became clear when they traded their 2010 1st round pick to San Francisco for their 2nd rounder (43rd overall) and their 4th rounder (111th overall). The Panthers clearly liked Everette Brown and he slid slightly into the second round.


Today we're going to look at how the 2009 draft panned out, and how I grade the players after their first season...

After the jump...

Rd

#

Name

Pos

2

43

Everette Brown

DE

2

59

Sherrod Martin

S

3

93

Corvey Irvin

DL

4

111

Mike Goodson

RB

4

128

Tony Fiammetta

FB

5

163

Duke Robinson

OT

7

216

Captain Munnerlyn

CB

Everette Brown – B+

Though Brown only had limited playing time in 2009 he made the most of the snaps he took. Brown finished 3rd in QB pressures among Panthers and led all rookies in forced fumbles. Brown has vicious speed off the edge and was a highly effective 3rd down pass rusher. He should be utilized a lot more in 2010 if Tyler Brayton and/or Julius Peppers do not return. Defensive coordinator Ron Meeks is hoping he can hone some of Brown’s skills to turn him into another ‘undersized’ pass rusher he has coached- Dwight Freeney.

- - - - -

Sherrod Martin – B

The Panthers tried an experiment with the safety from Troy when they moved him to CB shortly after drafting him. While Martin was serviceable as a corner, he clearly wasn’t really cut out for the position. When FS Charles Godfrey was injured Martin stepped in and showed he could be an incendiary ball hawk and play maker in the secondary, recording 3 interceptions in as many games. Carolina figure to utilize Martin in several roles in 2010, but it’s clear from my perspective he could be the future at the FS position.

- - - - -

Corvey Irvin – N/A

Irvin was a victim of circumstance. All accounts said he had a fairly good training camp but was forced to IR immediately following the Panthers’ first preseason game. With more depth at the position since his injury it will be harder for Irvin to fight his way onto the D-line in 2010.

- - - - -

Mike Goodson – C

Goodson was the toast of the Panthers during the 2009 preseason. An electric runner who dares people to catch him oftentimes Goodson lacks a solid move that allows him to hit the next level. Goodson is a project for the Panthers and the jury is still out. His hands aren’t sure enough to be an effective KR or PR and he cannot be an every down back. However, figure Goodson to be a threat in the passing game and the wildcat in 2010.

- - - - -

Tony Fiametta – C+

FB is one of the most underrated positions on the field and one of the most difficult to pick-up and play. Fiametta was a pick for the future as he will be required to step in and fill Brad Hoover’s large shoes when he retires. When Hoover was briefly injured Fiametta stepped up and filled in admirably. He made some clear rookie errors, conversely though he made some great blocks.

- - - - -

Duke Robinson – D

Robinson was thought to be a 5th round steal but saw no playtime in 2009. He’s still a work in progress.

- - - - -

Captain Munnerlyn – B

This was the steal of the Panthers’ draft. Once thought to be a long shot to make the team Captain Munnerlyn stepped in and was willing to do anything the Panthers needed of him. He returned punts, tried his hand at kickoff returns, and worked his way into being the Panthers’ nickel back. This culminated towards the end of the season with Munnerlyn working opposite opposing #2 receivers admirably. The future is bright for this young DB.

 

What are your thoughts? Was I too soft on some players? Too hard on others? Let me know!

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