Carolina Panthers: 2009 NFL Draft do-over (6 Rounds)
Carolina Panthers 2009 Draft: Max Unger over Everette Brown (No. 43)
With the 43rd pick in the draft, the Carolina Panthers selected Everette Brown. It was the right pick considering he was projected to go in the first round before teams started to question his size.
At that time, Julius Peppers was unhappy with the Panthers organization and requested a trade. It was necessary for Carolina to find a replacement for their stud defensive end and they believed Brown could be the perfect replacement for him.
In his first season, Brown played 15 games only starting one of them. He had 2.5 sacks and four tackles for loss on the season. The following campaign wasn’t any different, resulting in 3.5 sacks and three tackles for loss in only two starts.
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The Panthers made the decision to cut Brown after the 2010 campaign. And a player they could have had a much bigger impact was Max Unger. The dominant figure could have been their franchise center for the next nine years.
Unger was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks with the 49th pick in the draft. He started every game his rookie season and was one of the best centers in the league. His second campaign didn’t go so well after he suffered a foot injury in the first game. And the player was subsequently placed on injured reserved.
Following that season Unger quickly became one of the best centers in the league. He made two Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro first team in 2012 during his next two years.
Unger won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks in 2014 and he became the leader of the New Orleans Saints’ offensive lines following a big-money move. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2018 before retiring after that season.
If the Panthers would have selected Unger instead of Brown they would have found a great offensive lineman. They already had Ryan Kalil. But either of them could have possibly made a smooth transition over to one of the guard spots.
Carolina would have had one of the best offensive lines in the league with Jordan Gross, Kalil, and Unger.