Ranking the 5 biggest NFL Draft steals in Carolina Panthers franchise history

Ryan Kalil
Ryan Kalil / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
Muhsin Muhammad / Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Muhsin Muhammad - Former Carolina Panthers WR

  • No. 43 overall (2nd round) | 1996 NFL Draft

The upstart Carolina Panthers took a huge gamble during the 1996 NFL Draft by selecting a wide receiver out of Michigan State with only one college campaign of decent production. As it turned out, this became one of the best selections in franchise history and remains so to this day. 

Muhsin Muhammad was an absolute revelation over his two spells with the Panthers. His flamboyance for the extravagant catch was matched by giving opposing cornerbacks constant nightmares thanks to a unique blend of size, speed, and a wide catch radius - making things extremely difficult for whoever was unfortunate enough to cover him. 

Muhammad gained three 1,000-yard seasons during his first stint in Carolina. However, it was a memorable 2004 campaign that firmly put the wideout in the national spotlight. 

The wideout emerged as one of the league's most dynamic forces en route to 93 receptions for 1,405 receiving yards and a whopping 16 touchdowns. Something that brought individual recognition with Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors as a result of his efforts.

Much like the situation with Josh Norman, Muhammad decided to cash in and sign for the Chicago Bears in free agency. There was a reunion for the final two years of the player's time in the league, which was the best way for 'Moose' to end a career not many deemed possible. 

Muhammad remains one of the greatest - and most underappreciated - wide receivers in franchise history. And the Panthers' gamble reaped some significant rewards.