10 biggest Carolina Panthers draft steals of the last decade
James Bradberry – CB
- 2nd round (No. 62 overall) – 2016
The jury was still out as to whether James Bradberry was the right pick for the Carolina Panthers once upon a time. But his level of production over his final two seasons with the franchise was largely impressive and made it almost impossible to keep hold of the cornerback in free agency.
Perhaps the Panthers could have tied down Bradberry when they had the chance prior to the 2019 campaign. But there was nothing they could do to match the huge offer he got from the New York Giants almost as soon as the market opened.
Bradberry has since gone on to be one of the league’s most productive cover corners in 2020, which left Carolina looking at his situation with a sense of regret.
Jeremy Chinn – Carolina Panthers OLB/S
- 2nd round (No. 64 overall) – 2020
There is every chance Jeremy Chinn becomes No. 1 on this particular list in the coming years. But he more than warrants a place despite boasting just some season in a professional environment.
The Panthers struck gold when they moved back into the second round in order to select the former Southern Illinois standout at No. 64 overall. To say this brought instant results would be something of an understatement, with Chinn winning a starting job at outside linebacker and putting up some substantial numbers that should have come with the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award.
Simply put, the sky is the limit for Chinn and the Panthers are extremely fortunate to have him.
Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB
- 2nd round (No. 55 overall) – 2018
It was a big gamble for the Panthers to take Donte Jackson out of LSU. The cornerback had the speed to burn but needed some work in coverage and although he’s had his fair share of injury problems, he might just be a shutdown presence on the outside after all judging by what we saw from the player following Carolina’s bye week in 2020.
Jackson was one of Pro Football Focus’s highest-graded corners down the stretch after some sensational performances. This year is a big one for the player heading into some potential contract talks and if he can build on this momentum, expect a bumper payday in 2022.