Ranking the 10 worst draft picks in Carolina Panthers franchise history

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Devin Funchess
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Devin Funchess /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Rae Carruth /

RAE CARRUTH. 3. player. 857. . WR. Buffaloes

Rae Carruth – Former Carolina Panthers WR

  • Drafted 27th overall in 1997 (Colorado)
  • 22 games played
  • Released 1999

Rae Carruth is a name that is not thought of highly around the Carolinas. And with good reason.

A promising wide receiver out of the University of Colorado, Carruth was drafted No. 27 overall in 1997 and had a respectable rookie season. Starting 14 games, he hauled in 545 receiving yards and four touchdowns, which was enough to be named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.

After breaking his foot in the home opener in 1998, Carruth did not see the field again that season. The player eventually returned to play the first six games in 1999.

On December 15 that year, Carruth was arrested in Tennessee on charges of conspiracy to murder.

These charges related to the murder of Cherica Adams, who was slain by an associate of Carruth’s – a man named Van Brett Watkins Sr.

Adams was also eight months pregnant with Carruth’s child at the time.

The day after his arrest Carruth was released by the Panthers. He was found guilty on the conspiracy charge and sentenced to 18-24 years in prison, serving 18 years before his release in 2018.