The Kitty Litter scouting department continues to build its roster -- this time focusing on the worst wide receivers in team history. We need two of the worst targets possible for Jimmy Clausen, and there are some infamous names on the list.
There will not be a more lopsided vote than this one. Truthfully, I'll be shocked if anyone other than the top two candidates get votes. Nevertheless, here we go.
Career statistics in Carolina: 32 games (3 started), 35 receptions, 428 yards, 1 TD
Where do we begin? If you're looking to have a competition for 'worst and laziest' Jarrett would get a look across all positions, so his role in the WR grouping is pretty much assured.
As far as Panthers' fans are concerned, he's the poster child for why the 'draft day steal' are some of the scariest words you can hear. Jarrett had the perfect size to be an impact receiver in the NFL -- he's 6'4, 219 pounds and carved through defenses at USC. It didn't matter that he wasn't the sharpest tool in the drawer, because those measurables couldn't be matched.
He often drew comparisons to Keyshawn Johnson, but a better analog for Jarrett would be Dez Bryant. Sure, Bryant has had some troubles along the way -- but he's developed as a receiver too, that's why he's quietly one of the best in the NFL. Meanwhile Jarrett was lazy, couldn't learn the playbook, didn't fight for passes, and celebrated his ineptitude by drinking while driving. His story should be a soliloquy at the rookie symposium, but that would involve making an effort to travel there, and using words... and stuff.
Career statistics in Carolina: 22 games (20 started), 62 receptions, 804 yards, 4 TD
It's tempting to just write: "ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?! HE HAD HIS GIRLFRIEND MURDERED IN AN ATTEMPT TO KILL HIS UNBORN CHILD!" but instead we can concentrate on how bad he was as a receiver on the field.
Carruth was supposed to be Steve Smith before Steve Smith arrived in Charlotte. A sub 6'0 receiver who was a pure burner at Colorado, and poised to be the Panthers best deep threat. The problem was that Carruth could barely run a route.
His rookie season was the only one of note, and even then it was pretty terrible. Carruth started 14 games, and managed just over 500 yards. It's not all his fault, because Kerry Collins was in full shut-down, and had a comically bad 1997 year -- however, Carruth did nothing to help that. Add in the baggage and he's the most notorious Panther of all time.
Career statistics in Carolina: 55 games (42 started), 109 receptions, 1,424 yards, 7 TD
This is a time in Panthers' history that one's brain forgets as self-protection. The idea that Colbert started almost three full seasons for Carolina is mind-numbing, and his 2005 season along warrants a look.
In many ways Colbert typified what was wrong with John Fox's coaching style. The receiver's star shone brightly his rookie season -- where he finished with over 700 yards and 5 touchdowns. The season looked to be over when Steve Smith broke his leg, but Colbert and Muhsin Muhammad pieced things together well enough for a 7-9 year where there shouldn't have been. This gave Colbert a lot of rope in Fox's system, and seemed to gain infinite patience. From this point on Colbert deteriorated more and more -- his hands became less reliable, he became slower, and it looked like he rested on the laurels of that rookie year.
Career statistics in Carolina: 43 games (12 started), 73 receptions, 897 yards, 4 TD
The hope was that Byrd was an excellent receiver squeezed out of a good Titans' rotation while the team were at their zenith. The reality became that he didn't get opportunities because he wasn't very good.
Granted, 2000-02 was the worst time to be on the team, but that didn't mean he used the opportunities well. Byrd averaged 12.3 yards per reception while in Charlotte, which is one of the lowest totals by a receiver who started more than five games for the Panthers. It's important to keep in mind that he was signed to be a slot receiver -- to pick up those easy yards... and he couldn't.
There's a simple analog for Isaac Byrd if you don't remember him well: He was Legedu Naanee, before Legedu Naanee -- except he got three seasons to beat his head against a wall.