Peppers has to be No. 1 on this list. Although Cam Newton may be the current building block of the franchise, Peppers has been a steadfast constant for what seems like forever. He was part of the 2002 draft class that included Deshaun Foster. Other than Foster, that draft class was not very memorable to say the least.
Peppers immediately burst onto the scene in 2002, recording 12 sacks and five forced fumbles. For his efforts, Peppers won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award that season. In his first stint with the Carolina Panthers which lasted eight years, Peppers made the Pro Bowl five times and was a two-time First-team All-Pro. He continued to have success when he signed with the Chicago Bears, but it was weird seeing him in anything other than a Carolina Panthers uniform. Peppers made the All-Pro First-Team in 2010 and the All-Pro Second-Team in 2012.
Peppers would go onto sign a three-year deal with the Green Bay Packers and perform well there too making a Pro Bowl. In total, he has racked up nine Pro Bowls, three First-team All-Pro selections, and three Second-team ALL-Pro Selections. Perhaps his biggest honor was making the National Football League 2000’s All-Decade Team, an accolade that was well-deserved.
For his career, Peppers has tallied 693 tackles, 154.5 sacks and 49 forced fumbles. Those numbers are expected to grow in the coming year.
He has been a model of consistency and has filled many roles. From defensive anchor to more-than serviceable backup, Peppers has done it all. This was Hurney’s best draft pick by far as Peppers has brought a ton of things to the team for a number of years. It is not too often you can find a consistent level of production, especially at a physical position like defensive end. Peppers is truly one of a kind.