Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Top draft choices not getting it done

As we get word this week that OT Jeff Otah joins the growing number of Panthers on injured reserve and out for the season, it made me wonder how much (or little) the top of the ballyhooed Panther draft classes for the past few years have been contributing to this 1-7 team.

Not surprisingly, they're not getting it done -- much like the team in general. For a club that prides itself on "homegrown" players, this is a major problem.

Let's take a look simply at the Panthers' first- and second-round picks from 2005-2010 and how they're doing this season. The numbers are pretty stark (and also show how injuries can pummel a team in the short term):

1st -- Thomas Davis, LB. Looked like a Pro Bowler when he played in 2009, but hasn't played all season due to knee injury and is out for the year.

2nd -- Eric Shelton, RB. Was a total miss from the beginning and has long been gone.

1st -- DeAngelo Williams, RB. Has been outstanding for much of past two seasons, but subpar in 2010 (and has missed last two games with foot injury). Only 1 TD and 361 rushing yards in first half of this season.

2nd -- Richard Marshall, CB. Has developed into a fairly solid starter at cornerback, but certainly nothing special.

1st -- Jon Beason, LB. One of Panthers' best picks in club history; the heart and soul of the defense. Still, no interceptions or sacks in 2010.

2nd -- Dwayne Jarrett, WR. Total waste of a pick. Ended up with more DUI arrests than TDs in his career.

2nd -- Ryan Kalil, C. A solid starter for the O-line and definitely a core player.

1st -- Jonathan Stewart, RB. Terrible first half of 2010 (3.0 average, 208 yards, 1 TD). Sustained concussion in last game.

1st -- Jeff Otah, OL. Durability concerns his entire career, especially now that a supposedly minor knee injury has kept him out of the whole 2010 season.

2nd -- Everette Brown, DE. Panthers traded a future first-round pick for Brown, a pass-rushing specialist who hasn't had a sack in all of 2010.

2nd -- Sherrod Martin, S. Has become a decent starter in defensive backfield.

2nd -- Jimmy Clausen, QB. Has played a lot early and been singularly unimpressive, going 0-3 as a starter and getting benched twice already by coach John Fox. Jury still out.

So that's your core group, and that's a huge reason why Carolina has been so awful. Of the best picks from those six years, many have been hurt or hamstrung by injury problems this season -- and this team didn't have a lot of depth to begin with.


Anonymous said...

Analysis takes a rather narrow view. I prefer to be evaluated against my entire body of work: not a brief moment in time while the organization as a whole is struggling. Asked differently: what could have been done differently with the picks? I dont think you change the decision to pick Stew, TD, Otah, Dwill, Richard Marshall or Sherrod.

How about the Captain? 7th round sensation - that's value for a late round pick.

Anonymous said...

i feel the frustration, but lets be real. take injuries out of the equation, along with this seasons team record. six of those picks are bonafide all pro players, and a few were total busts. i am fast forwarding the dvr more often on sundays, but six all pros out of twelve isnt bad drafting.

Anonymous said...

Is it just my limited perception or do the Panthers always have injury problems that undermine their season. It seems automatic, every year. Could there be problems with trainers? or medical support personnel? I don't know, really. I'm just asking if this is normal for NFL teams?

SELL-NOW-JERRY!!! said...

The only thing this team is building is a solid resume for the team Dr.'s. The Panthers are the laughing stock of the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Like the first two posts said, these picks aren't that bad. A number of these guys listed have been solid players when healthy. I don't consider it bad drafting when a guy plays well, then suffers a serious injury.

I'm not saying the Panthers haven't made some mistakes, because they certainly have. But it's hard to blame the team for injuries.

Anonymous said...

Keep the kickers and the running backs and run all the rest off

Anonymous said...

Aw, Scott, stop picking on the players. This team is a wreck, and that starts with the ownership--you'd be hard pressed to find more than 4 players who have been truly worth their salaries this season.

Meanwhile, you picked Dallas to win the Super Bowl this year, and yet you remain on the payroll. We all make mistakes.

Independent_Tinker said...

Pro Football is all about the quarterback. Look at the 2001 Panthers and the 2010 Panthers. Injuries do matter on a team with a thin roster but without a solid QB, you're doomed from the get go.

Anonymous said...

Besides the Shelton and Jarrett pick, the rest was good picks.

Scott Huney didn't just trade a 1st round pick for Brown straight up.

They as well drafted Mike G with the 4th rounder they receive from part of the trade.

Marshall during his first 3 years was ranked one of the best nickle back according to Pro Football Focus.

But for the Davis, Stewart, Otah picks. Nobody can't predict when injuries are going to happend, but it's just sad seeing them go down so easily.

Michael Bacon said...

My guess is that Otah could definitely play for the rest of the season. But why risk a guy who's got a chance to be a bookend of a rock-solid offensive line for 10 years just to reduce your draft pick in a lost year?

Every NFL player plays hurt during the second half of the season. Give Otah the season off and let him get fully healthy.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody remeber a fellow named Bill Polian?? Was the GM back in the "old days". Wonder what ever happened to him once Richardson let him go?
Oh yeah he's the GM of the Colts a decent team.....Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Scott, that was a nice start if you would like to inform the fans about how well the Panthers draft while announcing a build thru the draft mantra.

How about going a couple rounds deeper and three or four years further back?

K said...

I'd be curious to see how the Panthers picks compare to those of other teams. Are we doing that badly, or is this pretty typical? It's hard to say without seeing some data from other teams.

Anonymous said...

Did somebody just say the Colts are a decent team? Lmao, every where Bill Polian has gone they made it to the AFC/NFC title game and a superbowl.

4 straight years with the Bills from 1990-1994, going to the AFC title game/superbowl.

1996 with the Panther an NFC title game to end of losing against the Packers.

2 Superbowl with the Colts and 3-4 conference title games.

The Bills by far has had the worst draft(especially 1st round bust) for the last 5-6 years.

Anonymous said...

First you cant sit there and say that Williams and Stewart are having a a sub par season when they really dont have much of a line blocking for them to pick up an inch let alone a yard.

Anonymous said...

If your Oline is constantly blocking 8 to 9 guys on mostly every play. How can you get your run game going?

Fox and Davidson can't adjust, they run a elementary school offense.

Even the commentators/opposing defenses know which will be ran next with 2 TEnd sets stacking between the Oline.

Until somebody fear the passing game, team will continue to stack the box.

Anonymous said...

Lol Scott are you blaming the players for not winning?

When you have a lame duck coaching staff, who can't develop young talent. How can you win? There's a reason Fox didn't want to let the veterans go.

Along not making any adjustments to set the players up for success.

Who can have success with the elementary run, run, pass, punt philosophy?

The talent isn't the problem, when will you and the reporters will bash Fox?

Every commentator is making him this great of a coach, if thats the case how come Bill B is winning with a rebuilding offense/defense?

Great coaches such as Sean P and Bill B get the best out his player, making adjustments/creating mis-matches for their players to succedd.

Nevio said...

The problem is not the players. Point the finger first at Cheapo Richardson. Then then blame Fox and offensive co-ordinator. They play 1970 and 1980 offense. Run, Run and run. very predictable and no imagination. We didn't sign one free agent in off season and look at how many we cut !!

Anonymous said...

We addressed the running game the last two years, why haven't we addressed the passing game with a complementary receiver to Steve Smith? Why didn't we get a better qb than Jake, like Vick? Why didn't we pick up an experienced wideout like Moss, Owens, or others? You cannot change all of the positions at once and expect to have a chance at a winning season. The tools were wrong, the blame lies with JR,period.


Richard S. said...

Marty Hurney and Don Gregory are your typical front running, front office guru's.

They both want to take credit when everything is going well. But when its not going well they are no where to be found or heard from.

Hurney Has been down on the offensive coaches for not playing Armanti Edwards this season.

Drafting that player was their own fault. Armanti Edwards is a "project" that Marty Hurney fell in love with off a "pro day" work-out.

He's a luxury pick that you can't afford to take in the 3rd round. But the draft guru, Marty Hurney had to have him so he gave up next years 2nd rd pick to move up to get him.

Hurney thought he was going to outsmart everyone on this player and in the end he's the one who looks like "freakin idiot."

I hope Richardson is smart enough to know that he needs to sell this team ASAP. He's been a real disappointing owner in my eyes.

You would think that after he had his heart transplant he would haved learned a little something about life in general.

Richardson doesn't get it. He doesn't have much time left on this earth so why is he doing this to the diehard Panther fans?

The new owner needs to blow this whole thing up and start all over again. New QB (Andrew Luck), new head coach (Jim Harbaugh), new GM (Charley Casserley).

Go Bucs

Anonymous said...

Had Scott gone back a little further and a little deeper during the Fox/Hurney years, he would have seen a 3-year expiration sticker on all picks below a 3 (except tight ends). Hurney's recent high picks set the team forever in arrears with little to show for it. He has been hyped and bluffed into bad decisions. {I love Armanti from App, but a 2, really???} We need someone with an eye for talent and the ability to play draft-day poker successfully.

Anonymous said...

"Hurney's recent high picks set the team forever in arrears with little to show for it"?

How is that? Even when Hurney was drafting from good to great Fox couldn't win consistently.

"We need someone with an eye for talent and the ability to play draft-day poker successfully"?

Like who a Matt Millen lol? Josh M giving up 3 quality picks for s project Tebow.

Every GM makes bonehead moves regardless.

Maribelian said...

Out of the 12, 4 are what I would calll great picks (Davis, Williams, Beason, and Kalil). Otah and Stewart have been good, but both were known to have injury problems in College and the Panthers gambled on them anyway. The book isn't sealed on them, but these two picks could look bad 5 years from now. Marshall and Martin are solid starters, so maybe you say they're batting .500, but in the 1st and 2nd round that's not good enough.