Ranking 5 biggest Carolina Panthers draft gems of the last decade

There have been a few hits from recent Carolina Panthers drafts.

Chuba Hubbard
Chuba Hubbard / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Ranking the biggest draft gems acquired by the Carolina Panthers during the last decade, which has seen more misses than hits from the college ranks.

One of the biggest failings where the Carolina Panthers are concerned centers on poor drafting. Those in power just weren't able to identify prospects capable of providing consistent production more often than not. Something that became the primary catalyst behind Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer's respective demises.

Want further proof? One only has to look at how many Panthers draft picks over recent years are no longer with the team. It's a damning indictment of player evaluation - something that separates the contending teams from the also-rans. It's also something Dan Morgan is looking to rectify at the earliest possible opportunity.

It was slim pickings, but we picked out and ranked the five biggest draft gems acquired by Carolina over the last decade. These are players who outperformed their draft status, taking into account their contribution, longevity, and remaining potential. Sadly, only two are on the books right now.

5. Jeremy Chinn

  • Safety | Southern Illinois Salukis
  • No. 64 overall | 2020 NFL Draft

The Carolina Panthers traded up to acquire Jeremy Chinn at No. 64 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. This looked like a tremendous piece of business after the do-it-all defensive star took the league by storm as a rookie. After that, positional mismanagement became a core feature behind his regression.

Instead of keeping Chinn as an outside linebacker, the Panthers opted to switch him to his college position of safety. This diminished the player's impact considerably and left him as a proverbial afterthought when Ejiro Evero came in and changed the schematic concepts.

Chinn's frustrations grew to the point where his departure in free agency seemed like a foregone conclusion. It didn't take long for the player to get another opportunity elsewhere, signing a one-year deal with the Washington Commanders where he'll look to galvanize his career under Dan Quinn.

Had the Panthers been smarter, Chinn had the scope to be a core foundational piece for years to come. Instead, he faded into the background and didn't see past his rookie deal.