Carolina Panthers: 2011 NFL Draft do-over (6 Rounds)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Cam Newton
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Cam Newton /
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K.J. Wright, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) K.J. Wright /

K.J. WRIGHT. player. 87. MISSISSIPPI STATE. 97. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. LB

Carolina Panthers 2011 Draft Pick No. 97: K.J. Wright over Sione Fua

The Carolina Panthers used the 97th pick to select another defensive tackle in Stanford product Sione Fua. He started with Terrell McClain and produced about the same level of performance.

In 11 starts for the Panthers, Fua didn’t record a single sack and only had nine total tackles. The following season he only started one game.

Fua was cut before the 2013 season but was then re-signed to play guard for the Panthers. He was released again before joining Denver Broncos. Fua finished the season with the Broncos and spent the 2014 season with the Cleveland Browns, but hasn’t played since then.

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The Panthers missed on both of their defensive tackle picks. The player they should have taken went on the become a big part one of the league’s best-ever defenses.

K.J, Wright was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the 99th overall pick. In his rookie season, the linebacker had 65 tackles, two sacks, and ten tackles for loss.

Wright put up solid numbers his first three years, but it was in his fourth season that he really took off. The player had three forced fumbles, two sacks, and 107 tackles in 2014. From 2015 to 2017 he recorded five forced fumbles, five sacks, 21 tackles for loss, and 350 tackles. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2016.

Wright had an injury-riddled 2018 and only played five games. He came back strong in 2019 having three interceptions and a career-high 132 tackles. Wright is still a part of the Seahawks defense and is one of the better outside linebackers in the NFL.

If the Panthers would have taken Wright over Fua they would have had one of the scariest linebacker cores in the league with Thomas Davis, K.J. Wright, and Luke Kuechly, who would be drafted the year after Wright.