Panthers: NFL Draft history under Hurney at TE
Will the Carolina Panthers target a tight end with a pick in this year’s NFL Draft…
The Carolina Panthers recently hired general manager Marty Hurney but this is far from his first go around with the NFL Draft. Hurney previously served in the same role for Carolina orchestrating 11 different drafts over the course of as many seasons.
While he has enjoyed success with first-round picks, especially near the top of the draft, Hurney and the Panthers will not be on the clock until pick No. 24 this year. Barring a trade, it will be the latest that Hurney has selected in the NFL Draft since 2010, when Carolina didn’t possess a pick and 2007, when the Panthers selected linebacker Jon Beason one pick later.
The veteran general manager has a wealth of experience with the process and appears to be making plans for a variety of draft strategies. Currently, Carolina owns eight picks and it is likely they could use some of those in order to either move up or down the draft board as the event begins.
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Hurney has done a nice job of filling vacancies throughout the roster this offseason, but a number of positions still warrant special attention over the three-day period. The defensive backfield, offensive line and tight end should all be important focal points once the draft ensues.
Unfortunately, Hurney does not have a lot of success at targeting tight ends during the draft, although he was responsible for acquiring the services of Greg Olsen via trade prior to the 2011 season. His track record to that point was spotty, although he routinely attempted to nail down a permanent player for the position.
In just over ten NFL Draft opportunities, Hurney selected a tight end six different times, including each of the following:
2002: R6 (174) Keith Heinrich 1 season, 0 catches
2003: R3 (76) Mike Seidman 4 seaons, 18 catches – 2 touchdowns
2004: R7 (232) Michael Gaines 3 seaons, 31 catches – 2 touchdowns
2006: R5 (155) Jeff King 5 seasons, 112 catches – 9 touchdowns
2007: R5 (155) Dante Rosario 4 seasons, 82 catches – 5 touchdowns
2008: R5 (141) Gary Barnidge 4 seasons, 18 catches – 1 touchdown
While Barnidge enjoyed the most success at the NFL level, the majority of his production came later after becoming a member of the Cleveland Browns. King was the most productive choice from Hurney in Carolina over his five seasons with the black and blue.
Olsen will be 33 years old when the season begins and has already been building a resume worthy of joining a national broadcast team once he retires.
Next: Offseason Roster Review - Special Teams
Hurney and the Panthers must begin to prepare for his departure and the time is now, possibly even in the first-round this year.