Image Via: Panthers.com
Well, finally the week of the NFL Draft is here and all of us on CSR will get a chance to either rant or rave about the players Dave Gettleman and Ron Rivera chose to use the teams seven allotted draft picks on. I thought it would be a good time before the festivities get under way to remind everyone how much contribution the team received last season from players that did not even hear their name called at Radio City Music Hall over the course of three days.
Last year the Carolina Panthers had a total of five draft picks to their disposal and two of those Edmund Kugbila (4th round) and Kenjon Barner (6th round) did not contribute even close to what the team got out of UDFA's Melvin White and Robert Lester through out the course of the season. Melvin White had a solid campaign IMO by all accounts and was one of the ingredients into helping turn the defense into one of the league's best after week three when he and Robert Lester were inserted into the starting lineup for the New York Giants contest (Melvin White Picks Eli.) White remained in the starting line up from that point on and Lester got rotational minutes at safety when needed.
Obviously it would be a great job in scouting and film study by Gettleman and Co. to find guys after the draft is over on Saturday that can contribute in a similar way that White, Lester, and even Wes Horton to a lesser degree did for the team last season. Nothing is for certain when talking UDFA's even making the roster or contributing at all, but if Carolina can find some of the same success this year as it did last year with the UDFA pick ups then it will be some more icing on the cake for Dave Gettleman in year two.