This the 2nd in a series leading up the 2011 NFL draft in which we review and vote on the 'busts' and 'gems' from past drafts. We started with the First Bust of the Panthers organization back in 1995. Now we look at the candidates for 'gem' of the 1995 draft. What do I mean by 'gem'? I'll leave it up to you but I imagine it could be the best 'value' pick from the draft based on draft position. Or you could make your pick based on best player selected in the draft. It's your call. Once we get through all the drafts up to 2010 we'll run a poll of all the winners to pick the #1 Gem and #1 Bust of the Panther All-time.
So here are the candidates. Though he got votes for the bust of the draft he was out first pick so let's see how many fans actually think he was a gem:
1 (5) QB Kerry Collins - Collins lasted three seasons in Carolina before his off the field activities, when combined with 49 INTs against 38 TDs, was too much to bear. He left with approximately a 65 QB rating. Collins remains in the league and has had some notable seasons in 2000 with the Giants and 2008 with the Titans.
Same with Tyrone Poole, who actually only received a few votes for
1 (22) CB Tyrone Poole - Poole has 498 total tackles and 45 interceptions over his 15 yr career. He had 170 tackles for the Panthers and 5 INTs, missing only 1 start in three seasons. Poole was a quality starter but his lack of size made him a risk in man coverage.
4 (133) C Frank Garcia - Garcia made 84 starts at G or C for the Panthers over 6 seasons. He was a quality starter but not a Pro Bowler. He played three more seasons after leaving the Panthers before getting suspended for popping ephedra on a whiz quiz. He never returned to the league after the 4 game suspension.
7 (209) S Chad Cota - Though Cota ended up having a fine NFL career he did little for the Panthers his 1st two seasons. He had a very nice season his 3rd year, making 16 starts. The NFL apparently didn't maintain tackle stats for Cota so I'm not sure how productive he was.
So those are our candidates for the 1995 Gem of the draft.
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