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2013 NFL draft: The shift from Hurney to Gettleman

We have a better idea about who Dave Gettleman is as a general manager following his first draft.


It was easy to know who Marty Hurney was as a general manager. A decade of experience told us that he valued loyalty, loved building his team with local players, and did what it took to acquire talent that matched up with his team's big board. One weekend wont tell you everything you need to know about a man, but we got a lot closer in understanding how Dave Gettleman operates after this weekend's draft.

The post-draft press conference is interesting because of its fairly no-BS approach. As Gettleman points out, nobody wraps up the draft saying their disappointed with their selections, but the most stark shift in Hurney and Gettleman comes when he talks about their 6th round selection (Kenjon Barner). A player was on the board that the team liked, to borrow a Mike Mayock phrase, they 'banged the table' for him. However, the coaching staff were strongly against the selection, and told Gettleman that he was a bad fit for their scheme. Carolina passed on the player and selected Barner.

We may never know who it was they left on the board, but it's inconsequential. This simple recount of the draft process summed up so much of what went wrong between Marty Hurney and John Fox on draft days past. The two worked well together, except when it came to putting together a long-term roster. When Fox was fired one of the reasons cited for a rift was his unwillingness to play young talent. It became a punchline in Carolina, heck I bought into it; here's John Fox, wanting to play the old guys... yet again.

It happened before the 2010 lame duck draft too. In every class there seemed to be 2-3 guys singled out, and ignored. On paper they were supposed to be contributors, and fill needs -- but rarely got used, and when they were cut a couple of years later they were chalked up as another failed mid-round pick, a product of a poor drafting GM and scouting department.

The only people who know the collaboration (or lack thereof) are Marty Hurney and John Fox, both no longer in the organization. However, we still saw this to a degree with Hurney and Rivera. What we know about Ron's sensibilities is that he values ball security, hard workers, size, and high character players -- in 2011 the Panthers took Terrell McClain (questionable worker), Brandon Hogan (character concerns), and Lawrence Wilson (lacking size). Following this up, the Panthers took Joe Adams (poor ball security) in 2012.

It might be too early to make sweeping generalizations about this class until we see it in action, but there's little reason to believe Gettleman is lying when he talks about how much he valued the input from his coaches. The name both Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short continually brought up in their press conferences was Eric Washington, defensive line coach. While they met with and talked to numerous people, the most interaction they had was with the coach who would be instructing them.

Every GM has a different philosophy, and it appears Dave Gettleman's it making sure his coaches have players they believe they can use. Time will tell if more of the 2013 class remains on the roster because of it.