Re-grading the Panthers 2018 NFL Draft class after three years
By Dean Jones
Re-grading the Carolina Panthers 2018 NFL Draft class after three years.
The Carolina Panthers 2018 NFL Draft class has now had three years to stake their claim at the next level. There has been some bad but plenty of good surrounding this group of one-time prospects, which was the first group taken by general manager Marty Hurney during his second stint in the role.
Of course, Hurney is no longer with the Carolina Panthers after owner David Tepper decided to fire him just before the 2020 season came to a conclusion. This was probably expected with his contract expiring and the need for a fresh set of ideas more in keeping with the current analytics trend in a bid to get the team back into the playoffs.
What comes next for the Panthers is uncertain. Head coach Matt Rhule has highlighted the importance of this upcoming offseason and next year will be an important one for those taken in 2018 due to their respective contracts.
We took a look at each selection and re-graded them based on their level of influence – or lack thereof – during their time with the Panthers.
Pick No. 1
D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers WR
The Panthers used their first-round selection in 2018 on wide receiver D.J. Moore. This proved to be a shrewd move in no uncertain terms and the former Maryland prospect is now widely regarded as one of the NFL’s brightest young players at the position.
Moore has achieved two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in just three years in Carolina. His route-running is getting more accomplished with every passing year and it’s hard to tell just what his numbers would have been in 2020 had the wideout and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater not suffered some serious chemistry issues throughout the campaign.
Draft Grade: A+
Recently departed general manager Marty Hurney has a strong record of hitting it out of the park with his first draft picks over the years. In Moore, the Panthers have a true No. 1 receiver who can become an all-time Carolina great if he continues to develop his outstanding skill set.