Mel Kiper re-grades the 2013 NFL draft

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers got a slight bump to Kiper's initial grade

It's tempting to nitpick through the 2013 draft class and find fault or redraft a few players, but overall it's a very good class and could wind up being one of the best draft classes ever.

Missing on Keenan Allen was obviously a huge error, especially given how close Ricky Proehl was to the rookie receiver, but solidifying the interior defensive line made a huge difference in how the team operated.

Initially Kiper gave the Panthers a C+, but bumped them up after review.


Carolina Panthers
Round Pick Position Player College
(1) 14 DT Star Lotulelei Utah
(2) 44 DT Kawann Short Purdue
(4) 108 G Edmund Kugbila Valdosta State
(5) 148 LB A.J. Klein Iowa State
(6) 182 RB Kenjon Barner Oregon
Post-draft grade: C+

Summary: My comments from the end of the draft hold up reasonably well today. At the time, I said the Panthers did a great job of addressing a big need to shore up the point of attack on the interior of the defense by adding Lotulelei and Short, and the dividends were obvious as they greatly improved their ability to stop the run. I also said I thought they needed to hit a couple of other needs, at cornerback and wide receiver, and weren't able to in the draft. At cornerback, they added Melvin White as an undrafted free agent, and he ended up starting and acquitting himself pretty well. But wide receiver remains a pretty significant need going into this offseason. Overall, I think the grade holds up, and the team improved on the field in part because of the draft. But helping Cam Newton with some added weapons is important.

New grade: B-


It feels like a B- is a little low given just how good Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short were this season, but the back-end of the draft was ho-hum. Edmund Kugbila was a non-factor before being placed on IR, A.J. Klein had flashes but nothing to write home about and Kenjon Barner did what you expect a sixth round pick to do, nothing.

In many ways it was the UDFA signings that prevented this draft from being mediocre top to bottom. This is a nice quality to have, but the Panthers organization needs to be better about finding late round gems than continually hitting early then fizzling out late.

What do you think? How would you re-grade the 2013 draft class?

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