Carolina Panthers Draft: Not having a top-5 pick isn’t all bad

(Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Wilson
(Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Wilson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

The Carolina Panthers draft history

If you need further proof, look no further than the Carolina Panthers franchise draft history. Though the organization is not currently a winning franchise, they haven’t spent a lot of time at the top of the draft and selected numerous cornerstones with some high-value selections in the mid-to-late stage of the first round.

Do the following names ring any bells?

  • Dan Morgan, LB, 11th overall
  • Jordan Gross, OT, 8th overall
  • Chris Gamble, CB, 28th overall
  • Thomas Davis Sr., LB, 14th overall
  • DeAngelo Williams, RB, 27th overall
  • Jon Beason, LB, 25th overall
  • Jonathan Stewart, RB, 13th overall
  • Luke Kuechly, LB, 9th overall
  • Star Lotuelei, DT, 14th overall

Current franchise cornerstones:

  • Shaq Thompson, LB, 25th overall
  • Christian McCaffrey, RB, 8th overall
  • D.J. Moore, WR, 24th overall
  • Brian Burns, DE, 16th overall

History would suggest that the Panthers don’t have a bad history of using first-round picks outside of the top five to acquire franchise players.

Players like Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, or Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II could all be solid additions in key positions of need and continue to help head coach Matt Rhule and the team’s incoming general manager in their quest to build a consistent winner.

All is not lost.



And before you completely sell yourself on the need of a team drafting a franchise quarterback at the top of the draft, see how that’s worked out over time and where most of the top signal-callers in the NFL have fallen.