Ranking Carolina Panthers' last 10 first-round NFL Draft picks

Some have worked out. Others, not so much...

Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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How do the Carolina Panthers' last 10 first-round draft picks stack up against each other based on production, longevity, and potential?

It's not been easy to find success during the NFL Draft for previous Carolina Panthers regimes. Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer's extensive experience coaching and scouting the college ranks failed to pay dividends. There is hope a more shrewd talent evaluator such as new general manager Dan Morgan can begin shifting this narrative.

The Panthers don't have their first-round pick in 2024 after trading up for quarterback Bryce Young. Looking at their recent history of players taken in the first 32 selections, that might not be a bad thing.

Of the last 10 first-rounders, only five remain on the roster. Some have been traded, others flamed out quickly. As for the rest, there is still potential attached.

We took a look and ranked the last 10 Panthers draft picks in the first round, taking into account their contribution to the franchise, longevity, potential upside moving forward, and whether their talent level matched where they were taken at the time.

Let's get into it.

10. Kelvin Benjamin - Former Carolina Panthers WR

  • Wide Receiver | Florida State Seminoles
  • No. 28 overall | 2014 NFL Draft

Things looked so promising for Kelvin Benjamin once upon a time. The wide receiver went over 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie and looked like he could be a genuine star for years to come. Unfortunately for the player and the Carolina Panthers, it didn't take long for things to unravel.

Benjamin lasted one more full season before he was moved on. Weight issues and accusations of not committing fully ended up being his undoing. He's been out of the league since 2018 despite trying to make a comeback as a tight end with the New York Giants last summer.

His career will always be tinged with what might have been. It was a sad turn of events after such an imposing start.