Re-grading the Carolina Panthers 2022 NFL Draft class after Year No. 1

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Brandon Smith
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Brandon Smith /
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How did the Carolina Panthers 2022 NFL Draft class fare during their rookie campaigns?

The Carolina Panthers didn’t have an abundance of 2022 NFL Draft picks thanks to the Sam Darnold trade. But those in power emerged from the all-important selection weekend with some intriguing pickups all things considered.

General manager Scott Fitterer is gaining a solid reputation for unearthing draft gems. However, a difficult season for the Panthers meant relying on inexperienced figures simply wasn’t an option until Steve Wilks took charge.

There’s always an eagerness for first-year pros to step in and make an immediate difference. Even if the reality is often far different more often than not.

With this in mind, we took a look at and re-graded Carolina’s 2022 draft class after Year No. 1 of their professional careers.

Round No. 7

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Kalon Barnes /

Kalon Barnes – Former Carolina Panthers CB

  • No. 242 overall selection | Baylor Bears

Matt Rhule just couldn’t resist taking another former college player and bringing him to the Carolina Panthers. Although Kalon Barnes had elite speed, it didn’t take long for most to realize he wasn’t going to carve out a successful future for himself.

Barnes found life difficult in training camp and it wasn’t long before the Panthers cut ties entirely. The cornerback found his way onto the Miami Dolphins practice squad before moving to the Minnesota Vikings, where he played three games as a special teamer.

Draft Grade: D

Late-round selections are always a shot in the dark. In Barnes’ case, it was a swing and a miss from Carolina.