Carolina Panthers 2012 Draft: Fine At Nine

As Panther fans, we’ve developed an extremely high level of expectation from our first round picks over the last ten years because, frankly, Marty Hurney and company have essentially nailed almost every one of those picks. As the 2012 NFL draft continues to creep closer and closer, we can only imagine what lies in store for the Panthers. After losing the coin flip Friday morning, I thought that it would be relevant to take a quick look at the results of the past ten years of drafting at the number eight and nine spots.

Each of the players below received a grade according to how well they’ve fared since entering the league. Of the twenty players, only one was able to garner HOF status from me, while eleven guys were determined to be above average, two were deemed average, four below average, one TBD(for obvious reasons), and only one was labeled a bust. Eight players were given both a To Be Determined grade and a current status grade because I felt like it was too early to hand out a final grade. Of the twenty players, twelve were given permanent grades because I didn’t feel like they could do anything more to move a step up or down in my grading system. Join me after the jump to take a look at this breakdown.

2002 NFL Draft

1

8

Dallas Cowboys

Roy Williams†

SS

Oklahoma

Big 12

Above Average

1

9

Jacksonville Jaguars

John Henderson†

DT

Tennessee

SEC

Above Average

2003 NFL Draft

1

8

Carolina Panthers

Jordan Gross†

OT

Utah

MWC

Above Average

1

9

Minnesota Vikings

Kevin Williams†

DT

Oklahoma State

Big 12

Hall of Fame

2004 NFL Draft

1

8

Atlanta Falcons

DeAngelo Hall†

CB

Virginia Tech

Big East

Above Average

1

9

Jacksonville Jaguars

Reggie Williams

WR

Washington

Pac-10

Below Average

2005 NFL Draft

1

8

Arizona Cardinals

Antrel Rolle†

CB

Miami (FL)

ACC

Above Average

1

9

Washington Redskins

Carlos Rogers†

CB

Auburn

SEC

Above Average

2006 NFL Draft

1

8

Buffalo Bills

Donte Whitner

S

Ohio State

Big Ten

Average

1

9

Detroit Lions

Ernie Sims

LB

Florida State

ACC

Above Average

2007 NFL Draft

1

8

Atlanta Falcons

Jamaal Anderson

DE

Arkansas

SEC

Bust

1

9

Miami Dolphins

Ted Ginn, Jr.

WR

Ohio State

Big Ten

Below Average

2008 NFL Draft

1

8

Jacksonville Jaguars

Derrick Harvey

DE

Florida

SEC

Below Average

TBD

1

9

Cincinnati Bengals

Keith Rivers

LB

USC

Pac-10

Above Average

TBD

2009 NFL Draft

1

8

Jacksonville Jaguars

Eugene Monroe

OT

Virginia

ACC

Average TBD

1

9

Green Bay Packers

B. J. Raji†

DT

Boston College

ACC

Above Average TBD

2010 NFL Draft

1

8

Oakland Raiders

Rolando McClain

LB

Alabama

SEC

Above Average TBD

1

9

Buffalo Bills

C. J. Spiller

RB

Clemson

ACC

Below Average TBD

2011 NFL Draft

1

8

Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker

QB

Washington

Pac-10

TBD

1

9

Dallas Cowboys

Tyron Smith

OT

USC

Pac-10

Above Average TBD

After looking at these players and their grades, let’s go a step further in our analysis. Discarding any of the players that were given a TBD, we will now take the time to compare and contrast the eights versus the nines. As previously mentioned, there were twelve players with final grades: Six each of the number eight and nine selections. Of the six # 8 picks, four were above average, one was average, and another was a bust. Among the six # 9 selections, one is a hall of famer (potential), three above average, and two below average.

To be honest, I don’t think there is much to be gained from this exercise. It certainly isn’t going to give us some accurate prediction of what the Panthers will end up with at the number nine spot (of course they could trade back and this study would become even more irrelevant ). I guess the only interesting findings of any note that I could glean from this overview was that the Panthers are more likely to acquire an above average player than a below average player with the # 9 pick. Also, the odds show that it is even more unlikely to pick a hall-of-famer or a bust at this particular position. I guess we can always hope for the former, and with Marty Hurney running the show, we can rest assured that he will bring in an exciting new first round addition that we can all be proud of as the Carolina Panthers move into their next stage of existence: The "Anything's Possibuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul" Age. I have a good feeling that we will be just fine. How about you?

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