Carolina Panthers: 2006 NFL Draft do-over (7 rounds)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) DeAngelo Williams
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) DeAngelo Williams /
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Antoine Bethea, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) Antoine Bethea /

ANTOINE BETHEA. 155. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. S. HOWARD. 87

Carolina Panthers 2006 Draft: Antoine Bethea over Jeff King (No. 155)

It is tough to find players who can be starters in the NFL in the later rounds of the draft. The Carolina Panthers ended up selecting Jeff King at No. 155, who proved to be decent value for the organization.

King played five seasons with the Panthers and caught 112 passes for nine touchdowns. He wasn’t an elite player by any means. But he was a solid contributor that developed impressively.

The best player the Panthers could have taken in this particular spot was Antoine Bethea. The former Howard standout was a monster in his prime and was one of the best safeties in the league.

Bethea has made three Pro Bowls in his career and is still playing in the league today. He played for the New York Giants last season and performed well on a dismal defense overall.

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He has been a great player every team he’s put on a uniform for. He was the franchise player for the Indianapolis Colts, caught four interceptions his first year with the San Francisco 49ers, and recorded five picks after joining the Arizona Cardinals. This elite production typified his overall attitude on the field. And this is further reflected in his longevity.

If the Panthers would have taken Bethea he would have been an immensely productive safety for a very long time. And the fact he fell this far in the draft was astonishing looking back.