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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Julius Thomas, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Julius Thomas /

TE. PORTLAND STATE. JULIUS THOMAS. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 87. 98. player

Carolina Panthers 2011 Draft Pick No. 98: Julius Thomas over Brandon Hogan

With the 98th pick in the draft, the Carolina Panthers selected defensive back Brandon Hogan, who didn’t finish his rookie season with the Panthers.

Hogan appeared in three games before being placed on injured reserved and was eventually released. In those three games, he recorded just three tackles. The player was released that season and he hasn’t played since. It’s safe to say Carolina missed big with the former West Virginia player.

The Panthers should have passed on Hogan and taken a tight end who had a short but very productive seven-year career.

Julius Thomas was selected with the 129th pick in the draft. He was out of Portland State and was ranked by many as the ninth-best tight end in the draft.

Thomas didn’t get any playing time in his first two seasons. It wasn’t until Peyton Manning showed up that he showed the league what he was capable of.

In week one of the 2013 season, Thomas caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. the player had shown he could be an elite tight end with that statement week one game.

Thomas finished the 2013 season with 65 receptions for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl and helped the Broncos get to the Super Bowl.

Thomas dealt with injury in 2014 but still managed to have 12 touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl despite only playing in ten games. Following two stellar seasons with the Broncos, he took a five-year, $46 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars that no player could turn down.

Thomas only played two seasons with the Jaguars. Injuries caught up with him and he was not producing the way he was with the Broncos. Following the 2016 season, Thomas was traded to the Miami Dolphins where he would play his last season in the NFL.

The Panthers could honestly take anyone over Hogan and it would be a better pick. But Thomas would have been the perfect tight end for Cam Newton.