Over the last 10 years the Panthers have generally wasted what should be valuable assets in third round picks."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Keep Sounding PodcastPanthers 2019 NFL DraftCSR Film RoomPanthers 2019 NFL DraftWhy have the Panthers’ recent third round draft picks been so bad? New Stitched Donte Jackson Jersey ,52commentsOver the last 10 years the Panthers have generally wasted what should be valuable assets in third round picks.EDTShareTweetShareShareWhy have the Panthers’ recent third round draft picks been so bad? Bob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsThe Carolina Panthers currently hold two picks in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, No. 77 and No. 100 (compensatory pick). Third round picks are usually something to covet. The players available in the third round tend to have enough talent to still be among the top handful of players at their respective positions. Realistic expectations for third round picks should fall somewhere between capable depth on the low end to quality starter on the high end. Even sweeter, their cap hits tend to fall just below $1 million per year, on average, over the duration of their four-year rookie contracts. But based on the Carolina Panthers recent draft history, even finding “capable depth” with their third round picks in 2019 may be a reach. Take a look at Carolina’s woeful yield from their 12 third round picks from 2009 through 2018:Carolina Panthers third round picks 2009-2018YearPick No.PosNameNotesYearPick No.PosNameNotesThe only player the Panthers drafted, developed, then retained via contract extension is Trai Turner. Carolina got good value out of Brandon LaFell throughout his four-year rookie contract as he averaged 42 receptions and 596 yards per season, but LaFell departed via free agency once his rookie deal was up. Trading a 2012 third round pick for Greg Olsen remains the single best trade in Panthers history. But look at the amount of busts! Six of the nine players drafted didn’t even play out their four-year rookie contracts with the Panthers, and that includes 2017 selection Daeshon Hall. Outside of Turner and LaFell, the only other players to carve out somewhat legitimate NFL careers are Daryl Worley and Terrell McClain. The jury is still out on 2018 selection Rashaan Gaulden. What makes the Panthers recent stretch of futility even more perplexing, if not outright frustrating, is the fact that they consistently nailed their third round picks throughout the 2000s. Take a look at some of the players Carolina drafted in the third round between 2001 and 2008: Steve Smith, Will Witherspoon, Travelle Wharton, Evan Mathis Baby Donte Jackson Jersey , James Anderson, Charles Johnson, Charles Godfrey, and Dan Connor (though injury limited Connor’s career). That’s right, between 2001 and 2008 the Panthers drafted eight players in the third round who went on to have solid NFL careers. They also had a couple of busts - Mike Seidman and Atiyyah Ellison, for example - but not many. While general manager Marty Hurney has done a commendable job addressing roster gaps this offseason, the Panthers need to absolutely crush the 2019 draft. This includes getting it right at No. 77 and No. 100. Assuming both Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly remain healthy (or can get fully healthy in Cam’s case), the window for another Panthers postseason run should remain open for the next couple of years. Finding two starter-level players in the third round of the 2019 draft would go a long way in keeping that window open. North Carolina has raised some incredible athletes, but Julius Peppers is in truly elite company."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Keep Sounding PodcastPanthers 2019 NFL DraftCSR Film RoomJulius Peppers retires as the biggest icon in North Carolina sports since Michael JordanNew,25commentsNorth Carolina has raised some incredible athletes, but Julius Peppers is in truly elite company.ESTShareTweetShareShareJulius Peppers retires as the biggest icon in North Carolina sports since Michael JordanJeremy Brevard-USA TODAY SportsFor a relatively modestly populated state, North Carolina has had an incredible share of big time athletes raised within it’s borders. Even more fortunately, many of these athletes have passed through the North Carolina University system, and a select few have even gone on to play professional sports for their home state as well. Though Michael Jordan never played ball for the Charlotte Hornets (because they were morons), he will probably always be the shining example of homegrown North Carolina talent (technically born in New York, but moved to Wilmington as a toddler) Best Donte Jackson Jersey , and why wouldn’t he be? He’s the greatest player to ever play basketball. Period.Julius Peppers isn’t the greatest football player of all time, though he certainly has an argument for the best ever at his defensive end position. Football has seen some incredible athletes, but only a handful possessed the combination of size, speed, strength, and pure athleticism that Peppers did at his peak. Of that handful, it would be difficult not to declare Peppers the true best of the best, and you’d be hard pressed not to consider him one of the top five best athletes of the 21st century (from a physical perspective). Just have a listen at what some of the current greats of the game have to say about him:Everyone has a lot of respect for number 90, particularly the guys who took a beating from him over the years. On a personal note, Peppers is the reason that I wanted to play defensive line in high school. I played a little bit of defensive end, but mostly the coaches wanted my 280 pound frame right smack in the middle of our 3-4 defense at nose tackle. I just wanted to hit quarterbacks and running backs, not protect them, and watching what Peppers did was the reason for that.I didn’t play in middle school, and in fact didn’t have much interest in football until Peppers started his career at the University of North Carolina when I was a freshman. I admired him because he was a two sport athlete, playing both basketball and football at a very high level. In fact, it was watching him and Ronald Curry on the court that led me to watching him on the field Adult Donte Jackson Jersey , since I was and still am a big fan of Tarheel basketball. Peppers was a terror at power forward, fouling out a lot, but he cemented his place in my heart with this moment on the hardwood in a huge game against Wake Forest...That’s two UNC football players (and eventually professional football players, Ronald Curry played wide receiver for many years in Oakland) hooking up for an alley oop, one of which is a massive individual who has no business getting his forehead level with the rim. Can you imagine Peppers running full gallup down the lane about to dunk on you? It was terrifying for all of UNC’s opponents.It’s crazy for me to think that Peppers has been playing football for that long, and the amount of training plus physical upkeep it takes to maintain a body through such a grueling sport. He has earned his upcoming rest more than most people.Even though Julius Peppers won’t retire as the all-time leading sack artist in NFL history, there are just so many reasons that he still might have been the best to ever do it.I remember a score of tipped passes, interceptions, pick sixes, and probably more running plays than I can quantify that were completely busted thanks to Pep. I remember a guy so strong that not even two people could halt his forward momentum, and so fast that wide receivers couldn’t always catch up to him. It was a pleasure to watch him play almost all his years on some of my favorite sports teams.So, it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the best of the best. Goodbye, but certainly a long way from ever being forgotten.Thank you for everything Julius. KEEP POUNDING.
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