The 2009 NFL draft is now history. How did the Panthers do?
I'll give them a solid "B" for this one. Here's why:
1) They didn't have a No.1 pick in this draft, but that's because they traded it in 2008 so they could acquire Jeff Otah -- who looked as a rookie like an 8-10 year guy at RT.
2) I like the trade for FSU DE Everette Brown -- the first pick of this draft at No.43 overall. Again, the Panthers were aggressive here, much like they were in the Otah trade a year before. They can only hope Brown has the same sort of start to his career as Otah did. Giving up their 2010 No.1 pick was risky, but it looked like the move of a team that knew what it wanted. As I wrote in Sunday's column, I wish the Panthers played in the fall more like they draft in April -- with some verve and boldness.
3) Going defense with the first 3 picks of 2009 makes sense given the way the Panthers' D too often folded in the late stages of last season.
4) This isn't an "A" because I don't think the Panthers got enough help at offensive line and they picked 2 RBs on Day 2, which doesn't look like a real position of need to me.
Grading a draft right after it happens is a ridiculous exercise, of course -- it's like grading your students on the first day of a 14-week semester simply by how well-prepared they seemed on Day 1. But it's fun, so we do it. Given that, what's your first-impression grade for this Panther draft??
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