Ranking the 10 worst draft picks in Carolina Panthers franchise history
By Luke Gray
Jeff Otah – Former Carolina Panthers OT
- Drafted 19th overall in 2008 (Pittsburgh)
- 29 games played
- Released 2012
In the wake of the Carolina Panthers’ 2022 draft selection, it’s only right we revisit the last time they selected an offensive lineman in the first round.
After already taking franchise legend Jonathon Stewart No. 13 overall in the 2008 draft, the Panthers traded up with the Philadelphia Eagles to select Jeff Otah.
The early signs surrounding the offensive tackle were promising. Otah won the starting right tackle job in training camp and went on to start 12 of 16 games that season for John Fox’s team as they went 12-4 and secured a playoff berth.
However, after having what was thought to be relatively minor knee surgery in the offseason prior to the 2010 season, Otah was then placed on injured reserve in November, which ruled him out for the entire campaign.
Otah’s knee injuries again hampered his 2011 season as he was placed on IR once more in October after featuring just four times. After four seasons, the Nigerian-born tackle was traded to the New York Jets for an undisclosed draft pick providing he passed a physical.
As was synonymous with his career, Otah failed his first medical with the Jets, who gave the player seven days to pass another physical or the trade would be voided.
Unsurprisingly he failed the second assessment and was returned to the Panthers. Two days later Otah was released.
The last we heard about Otah in the Carolinas was back in 2015 when some teenagers broke into his abandoned mansion.