The Panthers 2010 Draft Revisited

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Now three full seasons removed from the 2010 draft I think we can safely say it was one of the worst in franchise history. But was it the worst ever? I'm not quite ready to say that but I'll let you be the judge. I'm sure you will remember the names of those picked by the Panthers in 2010 but I'll turn the knife a little more and show you who the Panthers could have picked instead. Then we can see if it truly was the worst draft ever.

With three comp picks the Panthers were able to haul in ten players during the 2010. Here's a look at all ten and where they stand after three full seasons:

1st Round #17 - Pick Traded

The Panthers traded this pick for a second round pick (#43) to the 49ers in the 2009 draft in which the Panthers selected DE Everette Brown. Brown did last two seasons in Carolina but failed to make an impact; certainly not the kind of impact expected from what ended up being a mid-1st round pick. Brown was the classic ‘tweener' in size: not fast enough to play 3-4 OLB nor big enough to play 4-3 DE. Brown now plays for the Lions. I hope the Brown experiment is a lesson for new GM Dave Gettleman and all Panther GMs going forward.

The 49ers selected OG Mike Iupati at #17 who was the a star at the 2010 Senior Bowl and now anchors the SB-bound 49ers offensive line. If the Panthers had retained that pick and also felt Iupati was not BPA they could have instead selected LB Sean Weatherspoon, CB Kareem Jackson, TE Jermaine Gresham, OT Bryan Bulaga or WRs Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant.

Verdict: Terrible Trade

2nd Round #48 - QB Jimmy Clausen

At the time of the draft Clausen was being touted as a franchise QB. Two seasons later he has no trade value and a career won-loss record that makes Chris Weinke's NFL career look good (okay maybe not that bad). Clausen might still pan out as a decent back-up QB, probably with another team, but it's safe to say he was not worth the #48 overall. Hey the bright side is at least we didn't trade up to draft him.

The down side is we passed on players like DE Carlos Dunlap, LB Sean lee, DT Terrence Cody and WR Golden Tate.

Verdict: Bad Pick

3rd Round - WR Brandon LaFell

I consider LaFell at this point a solid #2 WR even though he took a little while mature. Today LaFell looks like a solid starter at #2 WR who should be on the roster for several years to come. That's my opinion of course. When you also consider what other wide receivers or other players were on the board at that point I don't think you see anyone taken shortly afterward that was any better: WRs Andre Roberts & Eric Decker, DE Te'o Nesheim and DT Corey Peters.

Verdict: Solid Pick

3rd Round - #89 via trade with the Patriots - WR Armanti Edwards

Shortly after drafting LaFell the Panthers felt the need to trade a 2011 2nd round pick for the QB turned WR from App St. Whether you currently feel Edwards has untapped potential or is a flat out bust I think we can all agree he has not been worth what eventually ended up being the #33 overall pick in 2011.

Edwards might prove yet to have some value and make a contribution to the Panthers but this post is not about making that argument. First consider who we could have picked at #89 in 2010 with that pick: LB Navarro Bowman, TE Jimmy Graham or WR Jacoby Ford.

If those names don't impress you then how about those we could have drafted at #33 in 2011 if we had not traded the pick. The Patriots took CB Ras-I Dowling with players like DE Bruce Carter, LB Brooks Reed, TE Kyle Rudolph, and WR Randall Cobb on the board. Ouch!

Verdict: Bad trade compounded by a bad pick

4th Round - #124 DE Eric Norwood

At the time Norwood seemed like a perfect 3rd down pass rushing specialist but after two seasons Norwood could not make an impact. Just like Everette Brown before him Norwood was limited by his tweener size and inability to get to get on the field. Norwood is currently with the Virginia Destroyers.

Other options the Panthers passed on at this pick were S Kam Chancellor, DT Cam Thomas, CB Dominique Franks, OT Ed Wang and CB Perrish Cox.

Verdict: Bad Pick

6th Round - #175 via trade with Raiders - DE Greg Hardy

Hardy is the Panthers starting RDE who just finished the 2012 season with 11 sacks. It may have taken Hardy a couple seasons to mature but I think we can all agree getting a starting DE who can rush the passer and play the run in the 6th round is a coupe. ‘Nuff said.

Verdict: Great Pick

6th Round - #198 WR David Gettis

This pick is the toughest to evaluate given we haven't seen Gettis on the field hardly at all since his rookie season due to injury. His rookie season though was a good one, much more than expected from a 6th round pick. Yet is he done in Carolina? I'm not sure and I don't think anyone really knows at this point. So I can only base my verdict on his draft position, his rookie season stats and the fact he remains on the roster so anything can happen in 2013. Also, when I look at who else was left on the board the pickings was slim anyway. The best players remaining picked in that round being QB Joe Webb, OLB Ted Larsen and SS Myron Rolle.

Verdict: Solid Pick

6th Round - #202 comp pick - S Jordan Pugh

I didn't give Pugh much of a chance to win a roster spot but the kid stuck and actually saw the field a good bit as a rookie. Pugh lasted two seasons before surprisingly being cut in the final cut down before the 2012 season. Pugh is currently playing with the Redskins. Just the fact he is no longer on the roster solidifies my verdict.

Verdict: Bad Pick.

6th Round - #204 comp pick - QB Tony Pike

Pike was a tall, lanky QB who at the time did not seem like a fit to what the Panthers wanted to do on offense. In week 9 of his rookie season Pike saw live action after Jimmy Clausen was injured in a blowout loss. Either that game or shortly thereafter Pike injured the elbow on what was already a fairly weak arm by NFL standards. Pike was out of the NFL after an injury settlement the following offseason.

Verdict: Bad Pick

7th Round - #223 - CB RJ Stanford

Stanford lasted two seasons in Carolina before getting cut prior to the 2012 season. He was a key special teams player and spot dime package CB. Yet just like Pugh he is no longer on the roster (Dolphins instead) and therefore renders my verdict in spite of being a 7th rounder.

Other names still on the board are DE CJ Wilson, C Eric Cook, LB Kavell Conner, and SS Kurt Coleman.

Verdict: Bad Pick

7th Round - #249 comp pick - CB Robert McClain

MClain lasted only one season in Carolina playing special teams and some of the sub packages on defense. Obviously there were not many players picked after McClain so it's a moot point to look who was there. Yet I find myself giving this pick a little more credence then the other late rounders no longer on the roster. McClain played with the Jaguars in 2011 and the Falcons this past season which gave us the opportunity to see him play. Though he's far from elite I wonder if the Panthers should not have hung on to McClain.

Verdict: Solid Pick

Summary:

As it stands now only 5 of those 10 draft picks remain on the Panthers roster. Two of the five released are no longer in the NFL. So that's 80% still in the NFL and 50% on the roster after three seasons. Of the five still on the roster only two are starters (Hardy, LaFell) and I fully expect two others to get cut at some point this offseason or during the 2013 preseason (Edwards, Clausen). That simply leaves a 'jury still out on Gettis.

Of the two starters I would say only DE Greg Hardy has a shot at making the Pro Bowl or receiving All Pro status.

So based on the summary results without really considering who we could have selected instead I would say the Panthers had a bad draft in 2010 but I wouldn't call it the worst in franchise history. I think that honor still rests with either the 1998 or 2000 drafts.

Thoughts?

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