I dawned on me while writing my two part look at #1 picks from 2001 until 2010 that I missed a very important aspect to this discussion, this was what the Panthers did with their pick?
Although Carolina did not pick #1 overall, they did have a selection most years and as such I thought it would be apropos to look at each of the Panthers' picks since 2001 and give a brief breakdown of who they took, whether it was need or BPA and who they passed on who was graded higher. In the end we should get an idea of what Carolina's tendencies have been when lined up against who independent scouts think is best.
You can read this... after the jump
Dan Morgan (9.08/10): Need
- The best player available when Carolina selected #11 overall was OT Kenyatta Walker who was graded at 9.23/10. In the end Carolina made the right choice.
Julius Peppers (4.88/6.00): BPA
- Peppers was the best player available to the Carolina Panthers and he was the right decision... simple as that
Jordan Gross (4.34/6.00): Need
- The best rated player when Carolina selected was DE/OLB Terrell Suggs (4.82/6.00). Suggs didn't make a lot of sense being a 3-4 LB, but Jerome McDougle was also available as a 4-3 DE and was a 4.62/6.00 rated player. Neither made sense, Panthers took need, Panthers won.
Chris Gamble (4.12/6.00): Need
- Following the Superbowl Carolina were aware they would lose at least one of their corners and went about solidifying the position. They took Gamble over the higher rated RB Kevin Jones (4.33/6.00) and the Panthers made the right decision.
Thomas Davis (4.06/6.00): Need
- This was the 'Vick pick'. Davis was selected and moved from safety to OLB purely to counter Atlanta QB Michael Vick who terrorized the Panthers in 2004. They passed over highly rated OLB Derrick Johnson (4.42/6.00) to go for the faster Davis. In the end it appears TD was yet again the right pick.
DeAngelo Williams (4.27/6.00): BPA
- D-Will was the best player available in 2006, and he also represented a position the Panthers needed. In the end it was an amazing pick.
Jon Beason (3.98/6.00): Need
- With Dan Morgan at the end of his career the Panthers went for the MLB they liked the best. Robert Meacham, Joe Staley, Greg Olsen were all rated higher than Beason and none haver performed better than Beast. Panthers again made the right pick.
Jonathan Stewart (4.15/6.00): Need
Jeff Otah (4.12/6.00): BPA
- Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and OT Chris Williams were graded higher than Stewart, and neither is as good in this writer's mind. Meanwhile Jeff Otah was the best player left, and he's been very good when healthy. Both were good decisions.
No 1st round selection, traded to Eagles for Jeff Otah's pick the year before
Everette Brown (4.25/6.00): BPA
- Considered to be one of the steals of the 2009 draft the Panthers decided to trade a 2010 1st round selection to get the guy who they believe fell further than he should have. The jury is still out on Brown, he's shown flashes here and there, but has been pretty unremarkable for the most part. We'll see what he can do in Ron Rivera's defense.
No 1st round selection, traded to 49ers for Everette Brown's pick the year before
Jimmy Clausen (3.13/5.00): BPA
- Again considered to be a steal in the second round the Panthers took the best player available as insurance for Matt Moore. We don't know yet whether Clausen will pan out or not, but he was the best rated player available at #48.
In the last 10 years the Panthers have utilized what was tantamount to their 1st round pick on 6 'need' picks and 4 'BPA' picks. Really, there's no pattern- the Panthers take who they have graded the highest and while it sometimes doesn't make sense on draft day it has proven itself that more often than not they have made the right decision.
I will close saying that you can, and should expect the unexpected when it comes to the Panthers and the draft... nobody knows what they will do.