First I have to mention I am of the camp that you cannot objectively evaluate a draft class immediately after the draft. It takes at least 2 or 3 seasons of on-the-field data to get anything valid. But trying to evaluate anyway we must so I will.
We all have our own 'value' scale but I'm betting yours is defined by the national pundits and their 'big boards' you prefer to give credence too. To keep this simple I've selected three that I like. The analysis below is simply this: Calculate the difference in number of draft picks between where the Panthers selected each of their five picks and the average of the big board ranking for each. Since the difference could be up or down the board, for this analysis a negative difference indicates a 'reach' or a player selected earlier than ranked. A positive number indicates getting a player lower than ranked and would therefore indicate an increase in value.
So here are my results:
|Pick Name||Picked at||
- Star Lolulelei was obvious value at #14 though its only nine picks behind his ranking. Anytime you get a player most people had ranked in the top 5 at #14 its huge value, theoretically anyway.
- DT Kawann Short was essentially picked right around where he was ranked though on paper it would appear to be a difference equal to Lotulelei's. It's not near as close those since we are talking about the middle of the 2nd round versus the top 10. If you asked the Panthers though they feel they got great value with this pick as well.
- OG Edmund Kugbila is easliy the biggest reach of the draft as two of my selected big boards didn't even include Big Ku. If there is a bust in this Panther draft class the odds would have to be on Kugbila. I'm hopeful the coaching staff knows something the national pundits missed.
- LB AJ Klein is another apparent value pick though in this analysis its not quite as much value as some people have suggested. Though some had him projected in the 3rd round, on average Klein had a 4th round grade and we got him in the 5th. Not a huge amount of value but a good bit.
- RB Kenjon Barner on average had a late 4th round grade and he slide to the 6th for us. He just might be another 6th round gem for the Panthers in due time.