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August 25, 2014

Where have all the 2011 draft picks gone?

And then there was one.

Cam Newton is the lone remaining member from the Panthers’ 2011 draft class after Carolina released receiver Kealoha Pilares this weekend.

Marty Hurney was fired in part because of big running back contracts and less-than-successful mid- to late-round draft picks in the final few years. Outside of Newton, there’s no question the 2011 draft was the least fruitful for the Panthers in recent memory.

The Broncos were next in the draft order behind the Panthers and took linebacker Von Miller at No. 2. Last night, the Denver Post’s Andrew Mason tweeted this

Where are they now?

Round 1, pick 1: QB Cam Newton. The franchise quarterback and two-time Pro Bowler, Newton was a home run. But lest we forget, many did not believe Newton should be the No. 1 pick at the time, and Hurney & Co. deserve credit for pulling the trigger on what now is the obvious call.

Round 3, pick 65: DT Terrell McClain. He had 12 starts and one sack in his rookie season before a season-ending knee injury. McClain didn’t put together a good training camp in 2012, and when the Panthers wanted Dwan Edwards before the start of the season, they released the former third-rounder. He rebounded in 2013 with appearances in all 16 games for the Texans, and he was playing well in the Cowboys’ summer workouts before injuring his ankle earlier this month.

Round 3, pick 97: DT Sione Fua. Fua was an average defensive tackle for the first two years, but he got squeezed out of his position when the Panthers drafted Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short last year. They tried to flip him to offensive line, and that worked all of one practice before he was cut. He’s now a backup lineman for the Broncos.

Round 4, pick 98: CB Brandon Hogan. The Panthers liked Hogan coming out of West Virginia even though he tore his ACL in the final game of the regular season. He eventually saw the field for the final three games of his rookie season but his knee never got healthy. Carolina put him on the IR to start the 2012 season and eventually waived him a few months later. This spring he signed to play in the Canadian Football League.

Round 5, pick 132: WR Kealoha Pilares. Pilares showed his potential when he set a franchise record with a 101-yard kick return against the Lions in his rookie season. The next year he caught his first receiving touchdown on a screen against Atlanta, but he injured his shoulder midway through the season at sat out. In 2013 he tore his ACL and was placed on IR. He came back this preseason healthy, but his flashes were just that. Feeling they had seen his ceiling, the Panthers released Pilares this weekend and he’s currently a free agent.

Round 6, pick 166: LB Lawrence Wilson. The Panthers placed Wilson on the practice squad after the 2011 preseason but he didn’t stay there long. In November 2011, Wilson was arrested for marijuana possession and was cut from the team. He’s bounced around a number of practice squads and Canada, and he’s currently trying to survive the first round of cuts with the St. Louis Rams.

Round pick, pick 203: C Zach Williams. He tore his ACL in training camp his rookie season and would only play one game for the Panthers in his career. He tore his other ACL in 2012. He failed a physical in May 2013 and the Panthers waived him. Williams’ most recent football sighting was with the Arena Football League’s Orlando Predators this year.

Round 7, pick 244: T Lee Ziemba. The Panthers used their final pick on an All-American that Newton was familiar with after their time at Auburn. He played six games for the Panthers—primarily on special teams—his rookie season. He tore his ACL in 2012, and later he was suspended for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Panthers eventually cut Ziemba, and he signed with the Colts in 2013. They cut him before the start of last season and according to his Twitter account he is out of football and now a sales representative.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on August 25, 2014 at 01:05 PM | Permalink

Comments

Cool write-up..I love to see "where are they now"

Posted by: Robert | Aug 25, 2014 1:37:25 PM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Aug 25, 2014 2:11:51 PM

Hurney last, and possibly most atrocious draft classes.

Posted by: John | Aug 25, 2014 2:31:44 PM

a lot of torn acls

Posted by: aaa | Aug 25, 2014 2:32:48 PM

Really though...Seems like we have a below average training staff at times.

Posted by: Macdabuepanther | Aug 25, 2014 3:11:08 PM

Marty Hurney will go down in league history as one of THE worst GM's ever. He set this franchise back a good 10 years, and built a team that won't enjoy back to back winning seasons until all his contract and draft blunders are corrected.

Posted by: Fred | Aug 25, 2014 4:27:05 PM

The Tweet is also an indirect slight to Rivera. Denver's staff of John Fox/ John Elway versus Hurney/ Rivera. Of course, Fox/ Elway went out and got Peyton Manning also. Fox didn't seem to care much about the quarterback position when he was here; his mind changed out in Denver.

Posted by: Gettlemen | Aug 25, 2014 5:42:43 PM

This is not the way to build a winning franchise through the draft, Go figure???

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Aug 25, 2014 8:46:39 PM

I agree with Jack and Terry`s comment above there`s just one huge ? tho! Can Cam hit targets 5 and 10 yards out or will he over throw them also?????? ILL SAY IT TILL ITS FIXED CAM NEEDS TO PRACTICE ON HIS TIMING AND ACCURACY. (WHY IN THE WORLD DID`NT WE THROW AWAY THAT SEASON LIKE THE GENIUS COLTS DID AND GET THAT ACCURATE QB...JUST NO (A.LUCK) I GUESS.)INSTEAD WE SETTLED FOR A LARGER VERSION OF MICHAEL VICK....ANYONE AGREE???

Posted by: ANONYMOUS | Aug 25, 2014 9:24:05 PM

the only way Cam is successful on this or any team is to do what Seattle has done, We need a mean tough smash mouth O-line and a coordinator that does`nt care about being called dirty names because the blocking scheme he implements...I Call it winning and if I have to call some plays that others call cheap shots but we get a super bowl ring out of it then so be it...THAT`S CALLED NFL FOOTBALL...its a warriors game.

Posted by: ANONYMOUS | Aug 25, 2014 9:34:03 PM

PROV`EM WRONG CAM YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!I HAVE NO DOUBT CAM WILL CARRY AROUND A FOOTBALL TO COOKOUTS AND GET TOGETHER`S AND EVEN THE FILM ROOM TO WORK ON HIS ACCURACY, HE WILL EVEN HANG TIRES UP AND THROW PASSES THREW THEM WILL THE TIRES SWING YOU WILL NOT SEE HIM ANYWHERE WITHOUT A FOOTBALL IN HIS HAND HE WILL CORRECT THIS ACCURACY ISSUE AND WHEN HE`S DONE ALL THE NAY SAYERS WILL CALL CAM HIS NEW NICK NAME WHICH WILL BE (SHOCK AND ALL)BECAUSE CAM IS DRIVEN AND HE WILL BE THE MOST ACCURATE QB BECAUSE ITS NOT ABOUT THE BIG MONEY CONTRACT CAUSE IF IT WAS ONLY ABOUT THE BIG DOLLAR CONTRACTS THEN NONE OF US WOULD EVER SEE CAM DOING THESE THINGS THAT ARE MRNTIONED ABOVE....NOW YOUVE BEEN CHALLENGED HOW ABOUT FIXING IT....

Posted by: ANONYMOUS | Aug 25, 2014 10:02:16 PM

Panthers wouldn't have had these problems if they drafted me in 2011.

Posted by: John Downing | Aug 25, 2014 10:09:38 PM

ME WHO????

Posted by: ANONYMOUS | Aug 25, 2014 10:17:41 PM

They better be ready regardless! We know TB wants revenge! Carolina will Be!!!

Posted by: stp | Aug 25, 2014 10:24:01 PM

some of this definitely has to do with a change at GM, though. new gm is less likely to keep old gm's guys when things are even.

and that's compared to 3 (likely long term) starters and 3 rotation players who have started some games in 2012

no GM in the league hits home runs every year. nfl draft is an absolute crap shoot because every year elite talents get injured and there's some late round undrafted guy from nowhere that becomes a stud.

how often have we seen guys who were third string in college go on to become studs in the pros? nick goings is a great example. priest holmes even better.

at the end of the day, hurney built the team that went 12-4 last year and gettleman tried to rebuild that this offseason when he didn't have to.


how many starters is gettleman pulling in through his first 2 drafts? he has 2 from last year and 2 from this year, jury still out on 2 more but gaffney is gone and boston likely will be, too. he definitely isn't making the roster.

it's par for the course. look around the league. what isn't par for the course is the number of top end talents the guy NAILED vs. a lot of teams missing on their top picks repeatedly (oakland, jacksonville, miami, cleveland, etc.)

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 26, 2014 9:51:10 AM

We didnt pass on Cam. That makes the 2011 draft a success.

Posted by: sneesh | Aug 26, 2014 11:18:57 AM

marty=charlottean. :)

Posted by: tony clifton | Aug 26, 2014 1:27:05 PM

^^^^ basically.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 26, 2014 1:35:17 PM

no i just look at the facts and see that he didn't do a bad job. he built the team last year.

the big complaint was that he didn't build a team that won back to back years. guess what......hardly anybody does. and nobody does in this division. his teams went 7-9 and 8-8 a lot in a league that is built to make teams go 7-9 to 9-7 every year. only time the team was legitimately bad under his management was when they intentionally blew it up in the lock out year.

that's just the facts.

gettleman took a 12-4 playoff team that hurney built and basically blew it up instead of just tweaking it. and he just absolutely did not have to do that. he overpaid an end that was absolutely replaceable this offseason for less and it cost every other position group.

there just isn't a lot of justification for the stuff he's doing other than arrogance. and even if he did a great job this year, the likelihood of going 12-4 again is slim just because of the way the league is built. it's not baseball or basketball where you can build a dynasty. the top 2-3 QB's might have that kind of success if they stay healthy, but the league as a whole is up and down every year. hurney getting the amount of flack he gets for the job he did is just ignorant.


it's like saying someone who loses money gambling is bad at gambling. the games are designed to lose your money. but the ignorant people don't understand stats and logic and reality and so they blame the guy that did a solid/par level job. as if the grass is greener.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 26, 2014 2:14:15 PM

Now do a piece on all Gettleman's sorry draft picks. His list is growing.

Posted by: deez | Aug 27, 2014 1:34:06 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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