*************2016 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.30 Vernon Butler, DT, LA Tech

I'm glad that the Panthers got a great value, but talk about a luxury. They could have taken a number of edge rushers, offensive line, or even a flyer on Myles Jack.


2.62 James Bradberry, CB, Samford

So the Panthers aren't panicking about their need at corner. That's why they are taking a 5th round sleeper in the 2nd.

3.77 Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia

So the Panthers really aren't panicking about their need at corner. That's why they took a 5th round sleeper in the 3rd.


The Panthers took a 3rd DT and three straight corners- the best of which was their 3rd pick- yuck

*************2015 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.25 Shaq Thompson, LB/S/RB, Washington

He won't play RB there unless he is a gadget package player. Shaq I think will end up as a safety with nickle LB properties, but either way he is a playmaker that every team wants. This is definitely early though.


2.41 Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan

The Panthers gave a ton (including a 3rd) to get him which is pricey, but apparently the Panther's draft goal was to get the two guys that have no true position. I like the guy, and he could be a fun guy for Cam to play with, but where does he play?


4.102 Daryl Williams, OG, Oklahoma

5.169 David Mayo, LB, Texas St

5.174 Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Auburn


The team found two starters which is nice, and I love that they are getting a guy for Cam to play with, but Cam needs so much more help staying on his feet from his offensive line that it is hard validating this draft. 

*************2014 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.28 Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU

This could be an insane value. He needs to get a little better at catching the ball, but if the Panthers can get into the red zone he could be lethal.


2.60 Kony Ealy, DE, Mizzou

There were some reports that that Ealy could go earlier, but I love him here. He was beaten by some big bodies in college, and he will need some refinement.


3.92 Trai Turner, OG, LSU

Turner went a tiny bit early, but he fills a huge need.


4.128 Tre Boston, S, UNC

5.148 Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State

6.204 Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford


Overall I like this draft, but also hate it. The Panthers needed desperately to walk away with one or two receivers and tackles. They got a receiver, and a guard. This team will live and die by Cam Newton, and the team took a major step back this offseason.

*************2013 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.14 Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah

This had to be the pick. He fills their biggest need, and he is a great value. He also has the experience and character that the Panthers love.


2.44 Kawaan Short, DT, Purdue

Star met his moon. Expect these guys to instantly plug the holes up while also taking some pressure off of the defensive ends. Short is also a great value here.


4.108 Edmund Kugbila, OG, Valdosta

4.148 A.J Klein, LB, Iowa State

6.182 Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon


This is a clean and safe draft, which is exactly what this team needs to change. You can't have (possibly) the most naturally talented player in the NFL in Cam Newton, and then continue to draft him nothing. The team had only five picks in the draft and drafted two defensive tackles (likely one starter), a backup linebacker, a backup guard and a 3rd string RB. 

This team needs to realize that they will not start to put together a team until they build a team around their only star player.
 *************2012 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 

1.9 Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College

This is another one that I nailed in my final mock. Everyone knew that he would be a top-12 pick, which often means that he will go a bit earlier than most expect. Kuechly will step in instantly and become the leader of the defense.


2.40 Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State

If you watch his tape, then you would see why people loved Silatolu. But you also have to realize that they essentially were taking on high school teams. You have to love his potential though.


4.103 Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma

No complaints here. The team got an extra pass rusher in good range.


4.104 Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas

The Panthers had to make the move, because the Vikings may have gobbled him up as their third Arkansas receiver in the round. With that said, I like the team adding weapons for Cammy Cam.


5.143 John Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina

Now this is what you call quality. Norman is a small school guy that could have gone in the third, and he could see the field a lot next year. He'll also be happy that he won't have to move far, which could motivate him even more.

6.207 Brad Nortman, P, Wisconsin

7.216 DJ Campbell, S Cal


This is an interesting draft for the Panthers. They got good value on almost every pick, they got another guy that will help lead the defense, and they got guys that will all impact the field soon. In terms of starters they may have only found 2-4 for next year, and it's not a bad draft for a team that is growing. If they are looking to be a contender in 2012 I wouldn't love it, but for a 2013 contender it is just fine.

*************2011 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 


1:1 Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn

I actually love this pick. The old organization never committed themselves to Jimmy Clausen, and because of it he never could have succeeded on the team. Hopefully they trade him for something to a team that will fall in love with him.

Draft Maven was the first website to have Newton going 1st overall back in late November, and he stuck there until the end. He is everything that the 'black quarterbacks' have been the last 10 years, except that he truly wants to win and isn't out for a pay day. AJ Green would have been the only other worthy pick here, and it still would have been a reach because the team wouldn't have a quarterback to utilize him (see Smith, Steve)


3:65 Terrell McClain, DT, USF

The team probably would have actually taken Marcell Dareus if they had passed on Newton. Well they address the DT position with this pick and get decent value.


3:97 Sione Fua, DT, Stanford

Some will say "why take two of the same position" but I actually am fine with the pick. The team needed two upgrades at defensive tackle, and fixing this hole will make the defensive ends better.


4:98 Brandon Hogan, CB, West Virginia

An instinct athlete, but a fine value.


5:132 Kealoha Pilares, WR

Some people hate this pick, but for a 5th rounder I don't mind it. Pilares could turn into a day one slot starter for the team, and his athleticism fits the team well.


6:166 Lawrence Wilson, OLB, UConn

There are a lot of people that saw Wilson as a third or fourth pick, so a 6th rounder is a great value.


6:203 Zach Williams, OG, Washington State

 A little early for Williams, but a huge need gets touched on.


7:244 Lee Ziemba, OT/G, Auburn

 I was actually mildly surprised that Ziemba lasted this long, and I think he will be a starter at guard when it is all said and done for the team. 


Draft Grade: B+

The team had a ton of injuries last year. Instead of starting from scratch at every position it looks as if they are starting over with a new quarterback, and then starting to fill the holes that were never any good. I do wish that the team would have built just a few more weapons around Newton going forward, but there are so many questions on offense that if everyone came back the team would have been ok.


I don't think the Panthers will be able to compete in 2011, so with all my heart I hope the team slowly brings Cam Newton along. The team still needs to find stability just about everywhere, but there is definitely nothing much to really hate about this draft.