Carolina Panthers: Hurney feels good about incoming draft picks

Dean Jones
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Martyn Hurney
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Martyn Hurney /

Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney feels good about his NFL Draft picks, which could speed up their rebuilding phase going forward.

General manager Marty Hurney has a sneaky feeling that the Carolina Panthers may have struck big in the 2020 NFL Draft. The franchise made some notable selections that could result in some instant improvements in 2020.

This was the first time in NFL history that a team had used all their picks on defense. While that did raise a few eyebrows, nobody could argue that this area of the field was one of significant need for the organization.

Speaking via video conference following the draft, Hurney stated that the Panthers stuck to their gameplan, and using all their selections on defense was not part of their original thinking.

"“We feel good about it, we feel good about the process and that’s really the only thing you can judge right now, is how the process went. We had a plan coming in and we stuck to our groups on our board and for the most part it fell the right way. There were a couple rounds obviously, that there was a player that went two or three picks ahead of us that we were planning to take if he was there, but we always went to the next option.“We basically did stick to the board and the groupings, and it just happens that it was all seven defense. We knew coming in that we wanted to help boast our defense, we knew that. But we didn’t come in planning that all seven picks were going to be defense. It just fell that way.”"

The draft was Hurney’s first working with new head coach Matt Rhule. The former Baylor man lent his extensive knowledge of the college system to this year’s picks, which is another element that could reap rewards for the franchise in the short and long-term.

This left a lasting impression on Hurney, who was highly complimentary of Rhule’s handling of the draft process.

"“We really do look at things very similarly. We’re both very honest and straightforward and have only one agenda, and that is to do what’s best to make our football team better. He’s a blast to work with and I think that this process went the same as free agency did, the same as everything really has gone since he came in and became our head coach. I can’t tell you how much of a pleasure it is to work with him.“I learn from Matt every day. I think that he learns from just how the process goes. This was his first time. I think it was very exciting for him. I think it was also – it’s hard work. He has put in – he and his coaching staff and our scouts – have put in so much work as far as getting the information, having these virtual interviews and doing things differently than we have ever done it before. I think the fact that we communicate so well and we are on the same page – I think it really helped the whole process over these last three days. I just think that his attention to detail – he just works, he works extremely hard and he just knows what he wants and he just gets it. I think it’s just to say it’s been a pleasure working with him.”"

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Only time will tell as to whether this will be considered as a home-run draft for the Panthers. It looks good on paper. But the proof is performing on the field.