Applying grades to draft classes just days after completion is a fruitless effort, but while we all know that, we also know that football fans love to see their team evaluated and either complimented, or chided based on their decisions over the weekend. Rather than giving you draft grades based on universal opinion, I'll be grading each pick as it pertains to team fit and immediate impact. These are two things the Panthers were looking for themselves.
1.9 Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Team Fit: A+, Immediate Impact: B
The decision to draft Luke Kuechly was really a move that planned for the future. I have absolutely no doubt that he will be an amazing player, but it's hard to argue that Kuechly will make as big a first-year impact as other players could have. When it's all said and done I think this was a fantastic pick for the long term future of the Panthers.
2.40 Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State
Team Fit: A, Immediate Impact: A-
Some will view the decision to select Silatolu as a serious risk, but in watching him play you'll see that he will be immediately dominant in the run game. He'll need to work on his pass protection, which knocks this grade down in the ‘impact' a little, but overall he'll pay dividends quickly.
More after the jump
4.103 Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma
Team Fit: B, Immediate Impact: B-
Alexander is the wild card of the draft class. He's a player scouts seem to either love, or have major hesitations over. Obviously the Panthers fell into the former, but in watching him on film it's clear to see he needs some work. Alexander has an endless motor, but if the Panthers hope to get a year-one impact he'll need to make leaps and strides in training camp on his technique.
4.104 Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
Team Fit: A+, Immediate Impact: A+
This selection really hit it out of the park. Adams hits the sweet spot where he really fits what the team is looking to do, and as a returner we know he can make an immediate impact. Even if he's not a slot receiver year one, we saw in 2011 from Patrick Peterson how valuable a dynamic PR can be.
5.143 Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
Team Fit: B-, Immediate Impact: B+
Norman is downgraded on team fit because of his character concerns. This is a team built on the tenets of hard work and integrity and Norman has had questions about both. This is a selection that mirrors Brandon Hogan's selection in 2011. I believe he has a great chance to make an immediate impact on the team, provided he keeps his head on straight and works hard in camp.
6.207 Brad Nortman, P, Wisonsin
Team Fit: A, Immediate Impact: B
It's hard to evaluate a punter, but Nortman gets high grades for team fit based on his ability to punt in a short field. In terms of impact I can only grade Nortman as highly as any punter could possibly make an impact.
7.216 D.J. Campbell, S, California
Team Fit: B, Immediate Impact: C
A hard-nosed player, Campbell will get a chance to win a spot as a ST gunner early in his career. Obviously this is a player coach Rivera loved, but whether he'll really effect anything remains to be seen.
Final Grade (Not an average): Team Fit: A, Immediate Impact: B+