Mike Minter – Former Carolina Panthers S
When the Carolina Panthers selected Mike Minter at No. 56 overall in the 1997 NFL Draft, there was hope he could become a solid option providing everything went well with his early development. What came next was a prolific 10-year career spent entirely on the organization that brought him into the big time.
Minter is easily one of the most underrated Panthers players in history. Aside from his sophomore campaign in 1998, the talented safety was relatively free of injury and made his presence felt in no uncertain terms both on the field and as a leader within the locker room.
The Nebraska product tallied 805 tackles, 69 passes defended (records began in 1999), 17 interceptions, four defensive touchdowns, 11 forced fumbles, and 11 sacks throughout a glittering career. This did not come with any Pro Bowl or All-Pro honors for Minter, which is a real surprise considering his consistency.
Perhaps the biggest compliment one could give Minter is that coaches rarely had to worry about the backend when he was in the lineup. A model professional from a time when you had to be extremely physical to survive – something the defensive back managed to accomplish effectively.
Minter went down the coaching route after hanging up his cleats after the 2006 season. He is currently inspiring the next generation as head coach of Campbell University.