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
Ryan Kalil / Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Kalil - Former Carolina Panthers C

  • No. 59 overall (2nd round) | 2007 NFL Draft

Ryan Kalil was a gift from the football gods. One that brought instantly stability to the Carolina Panthers offensive line from the moment he was drafted No. 59 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. 

Kalil endured a difficult start to his career, featuring just six times as a rookie. However, the player's influence and performances from then on were nothing short of exceptional and exactly what the Panthers needed to stabilize their protection. 

The former USC standout spent 12 glittering seasons in Carolina, earning two All-Pro honors and five Pro Bowl selections. Kalil was a key cog in some of the best moments in franchise history and is arguably the more prolific offensive lineman that's ever played for the Panthers. 

His initial retirement after the 2018 season didn't last long. Kalil came back with the New York Jets but couldn't get back to the form of old, but his place in Panthers' folklore is assured after an incredible career. 

Someone of Kalil's stature was immensely hard to replace at the center position. It took some time, but the Panthers now have a genuine performer after Bradley Bozeman left a huge impression last season and deservedly received a three-year, $18 million extension this spring to prevent him from leaving in free agency.

As for Kalil, he looks almost unrecognizable from his playing days, dropping a ton of weight as he embarks on a career in the media.