Oct 7, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) brings down Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (81) during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Marty Hurney-Era Drafts: 2008-2012


1 13 Jonathan Stewart RB Oregon
1 19 Jeff Otah T Pittsburgh
3 67 Charles Godfrey FS Iowa
3 74 Dan Connor LB Penn State
5 141 Gary Barnidge TE Louisville
6 181 Nick Hayden DT Wisconsin
7 221 Hilee Taylor DE North Carolina
7 241 Geoff Schwartz T Oregon
7 250 Mackenzy Bernadeau G Bentley

Jonathan Stewart is a very big, strong back with soft hands…but again, round one. Otah had great talent but horrible knees and just could not stay healthy. Godfrey starts today, but is average at best and overpaid. Connor played well for a few years but was fragile. Barnridge was a bust. Hayden was a backup/spot starter. Taylor was a bust. Schwartz started some games in 2010 but done nothing else in his career, now in Minnesota. Bernadeau was a bust.

Grade: C-minus. Stewart is a keeper but once AGAIN, you’re supposed to nail your first-rounder. That’s when the pickins are easy! Otah’s inuries kept him from playing much, but he did have talent. Godfrey should be a better player than his draft status would indicate. Same with Connor and injuries – he’s a reserve in Dallas these days. Schwartz missed all of 2011. 1 borderline star (Stewart) and one average at best safety here.


2 43 Everette Brown DE Florida State
2 59 Sherrod Martin DB Troy
3 93 Corvey Irvin DT Georgia
4 111 Mike Goodson RB Texas A&M
4 128 Tony Fiammetta RB Syracuse
5 163 Duke Robinson G Oklahoma
7 216 Captain Munnerlyn DB South Carolina

I forget all the hijinks involved, but with two first-rounders the previous season and none in ’09, it appears they traded up for one of the guys last season. This draft, Brown was a bust. Martin is still around as a reserve, having started a couple of seasons but a capable reserve. Irvin is a deep reserve. Goodson seems capable, therefore he was let go (due to crowded backfield) this preseason. Fiammetta was a bust. Robinson has had 11 career carries as a fullback. Robinson was a bust. Munnerlyn is a starter today.

Grade: D. And a “D” only because of Munnerlyn. Getting a starter out of the 7th round is the ultimate pick, but he blew pretty much the entire draft other than a below-average starter in Martin and a decent RB in Goodson that they had to get rid of due to a crowded backfield and got nothing for him.

Oct 21, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brandon LaFell (11) dives for the touchdown during the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE


2 48 Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame
3 78 Brandon LaFell WR LSU
3 89 Armanti Edwards WR Appalachian State
4 124 Eric Norwood DE South Carolina
6 175 Greg Hardy DE Mississippi
6 198 David Gettis WR Baylor
6 202 Jordan Pugh FS Texas A&M
6 204 Tony Pike QB Cincinnati
7 223 R.J. Stanford CB Utah
7 249 Robert McClain CB Connecticut

Clausen was a bust as they drafted a QB with the top pick the next year. LaFell is a decent player coming into his own, if a bit slowly. Edwards is a career backup. Norwood has been a bust. Hardy is with the team as a reserve and a decent body to have in the rotation so he’s useful. Gettis was looking good as a rookie before injury and hasn’t played since so the jury’s still out there. Pugh is a backup with the Redskins. Pike never did a thing. Stanford and McClain are backups elsewhere.

Grade: D. LaFell is finally developing into a solid #2 WR but unspectacular. Edwards is a backup and Gettis’ injuries have hampered his development. WR-heavy draft with little to show for it overall.


1 1 Cam Newton QB Auburn
3 65 Terrell McClain DT South Florida
3 97 Sione Fua DT Stanford
4 98 Brandon Hogan CB West Virginia
5 132 Kealoha Pilares WR Hawaii
6 166 Lawrence Wilson LB Connecticut
6 203 Zack Williams C Washington State
7 244 Lee Ziemba T Auburn

Newton is Newton, but there’s no such a thing as a “steal” with the top pick. You either nail it or you screw up (Tim Couch, JaMarcus Russell). McClain and Fua so far are in the “bust” category. Hogan and Pilares as well. Wilson and Williams never played a single game, and Ziemba at the end of the draft has played only in 6 – all last season – with no starts.

Grade: D-minus. Once again, you’re SUPPOSED to strike gold with a first-rounder, and the Panthers apparently did with the #1 overall, but by definition it cannot be a “value” pick of any sort. Newton is struggling along with the entire team this season, but I’d say he’s overall a much better player faster than anyone thought coming in, which saves this draft from having a flat “F.”


1 9 Luke Kuechly LB Boston College
2 40 Amini Silatolu G Midwestern State
4 103 Frank Alexander DE Oklahoma
4 104 Joe Adams WR Arkansas
5 143 Josh Norman CB Coastal Carolina
6 207 Brad Nortman P Wisconsin
7 216 D.J. Campbell FS California

Kuechly, a top-ten pick, looks to be on his way to being an All-Pro…someday. Silatolu is the starting LG but still making too many miscues. Alexander is coming along nicely as they traded up a bit to get him and apparently was worth it. Adams has had an up and down rookie year – currently down. Norman is seeing playing time due to injuries, but plays like a rookie. At least he’s contributing. Nortman is the punter – no surprise if you actually draft one instead of picking one up as a UFA (undrafted free agent). Campbell has talent, but is a project-type player.

Grade: Solid A. Kuechly is everything they thought and possibly even more. The kid is gonna make a lot of stops in his career. Silatolu is still rough around the edges but has ability and a motor that won’t quit, so he should be able to be coached up into a dominant guard someday. Alexander is showing some pass-rushing ability that they wanted when they traded to pick him. Adams has shown a couple of flashes of brilliance at punt returning, but needs to learn how to secure the ball. Norman is contributing as a rookie but is often burned – it’s hard for any CB to come in the league and excel from day one. Nortman’s a punter, ehhh whatever. Campbell will take time to do anything, if he ever will.

Oddly enough, Hurney’s latest and last draft would seem to be his best one, but as in all drafts, it takes some time to see how the players grow…or not. The “A” assumes Adams will fix his fumbling issues and will eventually contribute as a slot WR and that Norman will eventually be perhaps a nickel corner. Too early to tell.

Overall second-half draft grade: D-plus. Too many missed targets in too many drafts.

Taking his first-half “C” into account, averaging it with a D-plus, we come up with a C-minus…and I actually feel that’s a bit generous. Hurney had waaaay too many drafts where all that was gotten out of it was their top pick, and the others either are out of the league or end-of-bench backup types with very very few good role-players or 3rd-round or later picks that actually developed well. James Anderson and Ryan Kalil are pretty much it, folks.

With an 11-year span averaging a generous “C-minus” your team, with average coaching, would be a perennial 5-11, 6-10-type of team and the fact the Panthers have been unable to have back-to-back winning seasons under his watch starts with the players he has selected. I see ZERO late-round gems and very few mid-round stars in his 11 years.

It makes me wonder how in the world he lasted as long as he did.

Follow me on Twitter @Ken_Dye

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