Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why 4 winning Panther seasons in 18 years? Draft biggest reason

When you study the Panthers' first 18 drafts -- as I did for this column on the best and worst years in that grouping -- you get a better handle on why the team has had only four winning seasons in all that time, none of them consecutively.

Simply put, the Panthers haven't drafted well enough. In their typical draft -- one that didn't make either the "five best" or "five worst" of my list -- they would get one very good player, one decent player and not much else. In an NFL where player replenishment is huge -- given you need 22 starters and there are always injuries slicing into your numbers -- that just doesn't cut it.

Take 2003, for instance. It wasn't on either one of my "best" or "worst" lists. It was fairly typical. The Panthers got offensive tackle Jordan Gross at No.1, and he's been a force for a decade. Ricky Manning Jr. was a third-round pick -- he had four interceptions in the 2003 playoffs and then didn't do a lot else.

But Bruce Nelson (2nd)? Mike Siedman (3rd)? Colin Branch, Kindal Moorehead, Walter Young and Casey Moore?

It just wasn't enough, just like so many other Panther drafts. Former GM Marty Hurney got a lot of base hits with his No.1 picks and struck out a lot of times beyond the first round. Before that, the Panthers didn't even get hits at No.1 (Kerry Collins, Tshimanga Biakabutuka, Jason Peter, Rashard Anderson, Rae Carruth, etc.) Those are the sorts of drafts that put you at 7-9 -- the Panthers' most common record, as they have posted it seven times (including in 2012) in their 18-year history. It will be very interesting to see if new GM Dave Gettleman can upgrade this trend in the April 25-27 draft coming up. Again, here's the best/worst column link -- see if you agree with my picks.


Anonymous said...

The Cam Newton CURSE is upon you and your team. The scourge of hell befalls you and yours.

Anonymous said...

This team is never going to be good until its under new ownership. That simple.

Panthers hire a coach that constantly interviewed and got turned down, a GM that was on no one else's radar for hiring in a year of many openings, and John Fox, who everyone hated, is suddenly a great coach outside of Charlotte.
These aren't coincidences. I used to scapegoat Hurney too. Now I realize Jerry just really doesn't know what he's doing.

charlottean said...

hurney "struck out a lot beyond that" ???

greg hardy? captain munnerlyn? charles godfrey? charles johnson? james anderson? brandon lafell? now frank alexander and josh norman?

dan conner? hangartner?

look around the league at draft histories. Almost nobody nailed it with as high % as hurney on 1st rounders and very few hit as many home runs the late rounds.

officer jim said...

Scott, you hit the nail on the head,our draft picks from the very beginning (with the exception of a few)have been gut wretched at best.I too also hope that Gettleman can turn things around. I think he has done a great job so far and working his way out of a cap hole wasn't easy.Can't wait too see what he will do at the draft,he has a good eye for talent,I believe far better than Herney.

Anonymous said...

I wrote several months ago that my son asked why teams like Green Bay, and a few others, seem to get better players time after time especially when compared to Carolina. He thought it was "unfair" that Green Bay, for example, could go from Brett Favre to Aaron Rogers while Carolina suffers year after year with with mostly mediocre QBs. I told him that those teams had better scouts and front office personnel. Period. These other scouts and front office personnel were just better at what they do. They could see talent, when recruiting for all positions on the field, whereas the folks at Carolina could not.

Anonymous said...

File this one under: The Obvious

Kudos to Gettleman if he can dig us out of this. For years I've cited these same reaons why Hurney must go but many others defended him with his 1st round record. Too bad there are 6 OTHER rounds in the draft....

Hopeful Panther Fan

Anonymous said...

Hurney's draft record does not surprise me. He probably did nothing more then listen to the predraft media analysis. They are usually accurate for first round candidates then afterwards all is up for grabs.

Anonymous said...

Bruce Nelson was a good pick, even started a couple of games. He had the same hip problem as Bo Jackson, and you'll never hear that drafting Bo Jackson was a mistake. Evan Mathis was in one of your worst drafts, but Mathis is a multi-year starter for the Eagles.
I lay some of the blame on Jerry Richardson's reaction to Rae Carruth. I'm sure he told Hurney that if two guys were close, choose the one more likely to be a good citizen. Smart, in some ways, but they don't give citizenship awards for behavior during a football game.

Anonymous said...

What is the common thread over the 14 years of misery?

The owner..............

This owner has a strong football background.

Sometimes that is bad. I wonder how much of hand has he played in draft picks.

It is better if the owner forms a board to run the team of which he is a member or head. The board hires competent management and approves strategic decisions like major personnel moves.

Operations and tatical decisons are made by the professional management tier.

This is how top flight organizations are ran.