The NFL draft is never a guarantee that the players picked will work out. Top players are the best bet for the long term but how many of the players picked in the later rounds end up falling short? The Carolina Panthers already have people they are looking at but as history tells us, they haven’t always had good draft picks. As the Panthers get set for the draft at the end of April, let’s take a look at some of their worst draft picks in the last ten seasons.
Carolina Panther’s Worst Draft Picks of the Last Ten Seasons
Everette Brown recorded just 2.5 sacks with Carolina, seven for his entire career. He wasn’t the worst pick the Panthers had but his relatively short career was disappointing in comparison to players like Julius Peppers. The defensive end was signed to the Dallas Cowboys in 2013 after short stints with the (then) San Diego Chargers in 2011, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. His lack of size kept him from performing at his ideal potential.
Through 13 games in Carolina, Clausen managed only three touchdowns and 1,558 yards on 157 completions and 299 attempts. His bad luck came when he was drafted during a wash of a year. With John Fox leaving the team at the end of the season, Clausen became a placeholder for Cam Newton who came the next year. Bleacher Report’s 2010 profile listed the former Notre Dame quarterback as a very fluid, and natural passer. His leadership issues, though, immediately became apparent. He had solid numbers under Ron Rivera but he didn’t fit in the scheme the team had. He went on to play for the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens.
On tape, McClain appears to be what the Panthers needed from a defensive tackle. He kept his feet moving and had the ability to quickly rush his opponents. His problem was none of that translated over to the NFL. Of the 12 games he played in Carolina, he recorded one fumble recovery, one sack, and two quarterback hits. His laziness and apathy were something the Panthers weren’t fond of.
Although the Cat Scratch Reader chose to defend Byron Bell’s play through his four years on the team, Bell was just not what the Panthers were looking for in a starting offensive lineman. Mick Smiley argued that Bell was good for opportunity cost which ended up being the reason for eventually retrieving Luke Kuechly and Amini Silatolu in 2012, Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short in 2013, and Kelvin Benjamin and Kony Ealy in 2014. Most of those were good draft picks (Benjamin is questionable) but Bell was a subpar offensive lineman. He did a poor job of protecting Newton and was very out of shape. He went on to play for the Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, and Green Bay Packers.
The players on this list were some of the worst draft picks the Panthers have seen over the last ten seasons. Some of the picks led the Panthers to players who would be great for the team while others simply warmed the seat for the next guy.
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