Oct 7, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) runs the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Panthers 16-12. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Marty Hurney-Era Drafts: 2002-2007


So-just-fired-he’s-still-hot ex-Panthers’ GM Marty Hurney had a number of drafts…let’s have a look at his history of talent evaluation, courtesy of research available on NFL.com:

2002:

RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 2 Julius Peppers DE North Carolina
2 34 DeShaun Foster RB UCLA
3 73 Will Witherspoon MLB Georgia
4 100 Dante Wesley CB Arkansas-Pine Bluff
5 137 Randy Fasani QB Stanford
5 145 Kyle Johnson RB Syracuse
6 174 Keith Heinrich TE Sam Houston State
7 213 Pete Campion G North Dakota State
7 258 Brad Franklin CB Louisiana-Lafayette

Hurney’s very first-ever draft pick was the famous Julius Peppers from their own back yard, and the best one it was. However, when you draft at #2 overall, he should be a future pro-bowler. Peppers has been to his share, but now plays for the Bears. DeShaun Foster was a bust. Witherspoon was a very good player that the Panthers let walk in Free Agency. He was a 3-year starter that missed only 1 game in his four years in Charlotte. Wesley was a career backup. Fasani didn’t last but 4 games. Johnson was bust as a fullback. Heinrich, Campion, and Franklin were all busts.

Grade: D-minus. Hard to miss, and you’re SUPPOSED to get a star player. The fact that he actually got a star is the only thing saving this class from an F.

2003:

RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 8 Jordan Gross T Utah
2 50 Bruce Nelson C Iowa
3 76 Mike Seidman TE UCLA
3 82 Ricky Manning CB UCLA
4 119 Colin Branch DB Stanford
5 145 Kindal Moorehead DT Alabama
7 226 Walter Young WR Illinois
7 247 Casey Moore RB Stanford

Gross is still with the team so they’ve gotten their work from the man. He’s been durable and started from game one. Nelson and Seidman were both busts. Manning played 6 years and was a career backup with 2 other teams after 3 with the Panthers. Branch started his 2nd year of his 4 career seasons with the Panthers. Moorehead – career backup. Young had 9 career games and Moore, none.

Grade: D-minus. See 2002.

September 30, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) is tackled by Carolina Panthers strong safety Charles Godfrey (30) and cornerback Chris Gamble (20) during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

2004:

1 28 Chris Gamble CB Ohio State
2 62 Keary Colbert WR USC
3 94 Travelle Wharton G South Carolina
5 163 Drew Carter WR Ohio State
6 196 Sean Tufts LB Colorado
7 232 Michael Gaines TE Central Florida

Gamble was a great career value pick, but just went on IR for the Panthers. Colbert was a bust. Wharton gave us a lot of games and was just released this season. Carter and Tufts were busts. Gaines was a decent second/blocking TE for 3 years with Carolina and 4 more elsewhere.

Grade: C, and that’s even a tad generous. Gamble was a nice pick at #28 overall, Colbert gave them 4 years of underproduction, and Gaines was a mild steal at the very end of the draft simply because he stuck as a blocker.

2005:

RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 14 Thomas Davis DB Georgia
2 54 Eric Shelton RB Louisville
3 79 Evan Mathis G Alabama
3 89 Atiyyah Ellison DT Missouri
4 121 Stefan LeFors QB Louisville
5 149 Adam Seward LB Nevada-Las Vegas
5 169 Geoff Hangartner C Texas A&M
5 171 Ben Emanuel SS UCLA
6 189 Jovan Haye DE Vanderbilt
6 207 Joe Berger T Michigan Tech

Thomas Davis was a wonderful pick here, not to mention a fighter having a resurgent 2012 so far after 3 knee reconstructions. Gimme that guy at #14 overall from that long ago ANY day. Shelton played 9 games in 2 years and retired. Mathis is a journeyman but still playing – only 3 in Carolina. Ellison was a 7-year bust; only one in Charlotte. LeFors never did a thing. Seward was a 4-yr folly. Hangartner is a solid starter today, minus a 2-year stint in Buffalo. Emanuel was a 2-yr bust. Haye was a 2-yr, 2-game player that went on to contribute for a few years with other teams, some as a starter. Berger is a journeyman end-of-bench type that Carolina never suited up.

Grade: D. Sense a pattern here? Davis was a gem but #14 overall and should play well. Durability problems take a D+ to a D. Hangartner was a steal in the 5th round considering how long he’s contributed as a guard or center.

2006:

RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 27 DeAngelo Williams RB Memphis
2 58 Richard Marshall CB Fresno State
3 88 James Anderson LB Virginia Tech
3 89 Rashad Butler T Miami (Fla.)
4 121 Nate Salley DB Ohio State
5 155 Jeff King TE Virginia Tech
7 234 Will Montgomery G Virginia Tech
7 237 Stanley McClover DE Auburn

Williams has been a productive player until the overall offensive malaise this year and a steal at #27 in the entire draft, given length of service. Marshall played 5 years with Carolina, his last 2 as a starter. James Anderson has had a very, very good career and is a starter after “paying his dues” as a backup and has grown nicely. Butler is a Texan after a year in Carolina, still a reserve. Salley was a bust. King started the last 4 of his 5 years in Carolina, but was let go and starts for the Cards. Montgomery is a career backup with only his rookie season in Carolina. McClover was a bust.

Grade: A-minus. If they could draft like this each year, they’d be loaded if they held on to the guys. Williams was an impact player and still has gas if the offense can get started. Marshall served his time but was let go after starting. Anderson grew into a talented OLB. Jeff King starts but elsewhere now.

2007:

1 25 Jon Beason MLB Miami (Fla.)
2 45 Dwayne Jarrett WR USC
2 59 Ryan Kalil C USC
3 83 Charles Johnson DE Georgia
4 118 Ryne Robinson WR Miami (Ohio)
5 155 Dante Rosario TE Oregon
5 164 Tim Shaw LB Penn State
7 226 C.J. Wilson CB Baylor

Beason was a starter from day one until getting injured last season and again this year but gave 4 good years. Jarrett was a bust. Kalil is an All-Pro but on IR now for 2012. Johnson’s a tier below a pro-bowler and dangerous today. Robinson was a retired bust gone from the league after his rookie year. Rosario is a career backup-quality TE still with the team. Shaw has bounced around as a reserve after a couple in Carolina. Wilson is a special-teams guy more than anything.

Grade: A-minus. If not for injuries to both Beason and Kalil, that’s 2 All-Pros in the top 3 rounds. Had Jarrett even been a possession guy…a 3rd WR or return guy, something, this could be an A+. Every organization misses on about half their picks so 3 real impact guys including Charles Johnson, and a backup guy in Rosario is a very nice haul for a draft, realistically speaking. It’s “only” an A-minus because the extra 2nd and extra 5th didn’t help them.

Overall, the first half of his tenure, draft-wise, has to be a solid “C.” That just won’t cut it in the modern NFL. Talent at a “C” level draft should be producing 8-8 teams, on balance.

Second half of his tenure to be posted soon…

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Marty Hurney Drafts