Carolina Panthers: 2008 NFL Draft do-over (7 rounds)

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jonathan Stewart
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jonathan Stewart /
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Cliff Avril, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Cliff Avril /

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. DE. 87. PURDUE. CLIFFAVRIL. 74. player

Carolina Panthers 2008 Draft: Cliff Avril over Dan Connor (No. 74)

Dan Connor seemed like a pretty good pick at the time. The Carolina Panthers drafted him with hopes he could become a great linebacker next to Jon Beason. And he did show a tremendous amount of promise during his time at Purdue.

Unfortunately, he did not have a similar impact at the next level. Connor played five seasons in Carolina and never turned into a prominent starter. And his unreliability meant he never got through starting for a full season.

The Panthers could have taken a player that would have boosted their defensive line and formed a three-strong tandem of superb pass rushers great to spearhead their fortunes on the field. Cliff Avril played ten successful seasons in the NFL. Five with the Detroit Lions and the other five with the Seattle Seahawks.

Avril’s best output came in his second to last season. In 2016, Avril had 11.5 sacks and eight tackles for a loss. And the determined rusher also made the Pro Bowl for his efforts.

If the Panthers made the right pick, Avril could have been a part of a terrifying threesome with Julius Peppers and Charles Johnson. This trio’s potential was limitless. And it might have even been the difference between winning a Super Bowl and falling away when it mattered most.