How the Carolina Panthers recent draft record gives hope for 2021

(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
1 of 3
Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

With the NFL Draft fast approaching, let’s take a look and see how the Carolina Panthers’ recent successes and failures give hope for this year’s pick at No. 8.

The first round of the NFL Draft always gets the most hype, and rightfully so for the most part. It is truly the highest risk-reward portion of the offseason. A day that can make or break the future of a franchise – which may be overstating things just a little bit – but it certainly can set you back a few years.

It always has its fair share of busts or players that were a significant reach. While teams tend to put the most scouting into the first round and think they know everything about the prospect they end up choosing, things don’t always go to plan. We see this with the recent struggles of Isaiah Wilson.

With that being said, how have the Carolina Panthers fared in recent years?

Since franchise legend Cam Newton was taken at No.1 overall in 2011 the Panthers have picked in every first round. This is a rarity around the league recently with picks being traded away like candy. However, some of those selections may have been better served going to another team.

Taking a look back at recent first-rounders the Panthers have selected, there is a real mixed bag from a performance standpoint. Some sure-fire stars, huge busts, and middle-of-the-road players that would have probably been better taken in later rounds.

These picks can be put into four categories. The home runs, the starters, the busts, and the too soon. Ironically these categories tend to be made up of selections from the same area of the round.