Grading the Carolina Panthers’ last 5 first-round draft picks

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Marty Hurney /

How have the Carolina Panthers fared with their first-round NFL Draft selections over the last five years?

It’s been a rough ride for the Carolina Panthers of late. The firing of Ron Rivera was inevitable after some notable regression during the 2019 campaign, but team owner David Tepper also probably thought things would turn around a little quicker with Matt Rhule at the helm – something that has yet to materialize.

Rhule has 10 career league wins over two seasons. The Panthers lost 12 of their final 14 games in 2021 after a promising start, which was the biggest indicator yet that some significant changes are needed in terms of recruitment and implementing a thorough gameday strategy that gets the most out of a talented young roster.

Carolina opted to keep faith with Rhule this offseason. They gutted their coaching staff and brought in some quality reinforcements within key positions of need – although much more is needed for fans to look at their hopes next time around with any real sense of optimism.

The draft has been a profitable avenue when it comes to acquiring talent for the Panthers lately. With one selection in the top-100 this year as it stands, general manager Scott Fitterer needs to continue his blossoming trend of finding diamonds in the rough that can become valuable contributors in no time at all.

Those in power also have a massive call to make at No. 6 overall. This will center on a quarterback or potentially finding an elite left tackle to further improve an offensive line that should be much better during the upcoming campaign.

With that being said, we took at how the Panthers’ last five first-round selections have panned out ahead of a critical 2022 process for the franchise.