The Panthers acquired a 5th-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft for backup quarterback Kyle Allen. What does history say that pick will turn into?
It’s funny how less than a year ago, many people were ready to turn the keys to the Panthers’ franchise over to quarterback Kyle Allen, a player whose career trajectory is likely career back-up. Our debate was misguided, as neither Cam Newton nor Allen is going to be the future of the franchise. Allen was reunited with his former coach Ron Rivera in late March, no longer needed due to the additions of Teddy Bridgewater and P.J. Walker. In return, the Panthers received a 2020 5th-round draft pick, the 148th pick overall.
Fans largely lauded the move, excited to be rid of a quarterback clearly not in the future plans for the chance at a valuable asset through the draft. But should we be excited? We took a look at the Panthers’ recent draft history to uncover what type of production the team might receive with that pick.
Although the Panthers made 10 picks in the 5th-round of the NFL Draft during the last decade, not all of them were made by general manager Marty Hurney. Embattled general manager Dave Gettleman made six of those selections. We do however have an extensive history to look at, as Hurney was the general manager from 2002-12 before being replaced by Gettleman. In total, Hurney has made 16 fifth-round picks as general manager of the Carolina Panthers.
2019 Draft – RB Jordan Scarlett
Scarlett appeared in nine games for the Panthers this season but only carried the ball four times. With star running back Christian McCaffrey absorbing nearly all of the Panthers’ workload, there hasn’t been much opportunity for players like Scarlett. This is unlikely to change this season, although having a new head coach in Matt Rhule could lead to Scarlett at least carving out a slightly larger role in the offense.
2018 Draft – LB Jermaine Carter
Carter was a quality depth piece for the Panthers’ defense this season and will be another quality piece for the Panthers again in 2020. He shone in the final game of the season, racking up 11 tackles against the Saints. He’s been durable and played well in his brief time on the field, despite not being bonafide starter material. He’s current;y slated to back-up Shaq Thompson this season.
2012 Draft – CB Josh Norman
The man everyone thinks of when talking about Panthers’ 5th-round picks, Norman is likely the best late-round pick in franchise history. A former walk-on and unheralded prospect out of Coastal Carolina, Norman was an integral part of the 2015 Panthers’ run to the Super Bowl. He was a Pro-Bowl selection in 2015 and thrived under head coach Ron Rivera. His time in Carolina may not have ended the way everyone hoped, but this is a 5th-round pick that will be forever tough to top.
2011 Draft – WR Kealoha Pilares
Pilares never made an impact in the passing game (he caught only two passes in his career) but for a brief moment looked like a dynamic return man for the Panthers. His signature moment came in 2011 when he returned a kickoff 101 yards against the Detroit Lions for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Pilares, the NFL changed its kickoff rules to reduce injuries and his role was diminished. After he was injured in 2012, he never made it back to the Panthers’ active roster.
2009 Draft – G Duke Robinson
Robinson never played a down in the NFL. He did, however, record one reception in the Arena Football League. Robinson was a disappointment out of Oklahoma after being the No. 2 ranked guard prospect entering the draft.
2008 Draft – TE Gary Barnidge
Barnidge was an incredibly impactful player for the better part of two seasons….just not for the Carolina Panthers. After five seasons and only 18 receptions with Carolina, Barnidge signed with the Cleveland Browns and flourished. He caught 79 passes for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015, the best season of his career. There are only two Pro-Bowlers on this list and Barnidge is one of them, just not for Carolina
2007 Draft – TE Dante Rosario and LB Tim Shaw
Another tight end who found success in the NFL, Rosario played four seasons with the Panthers, catching 82 passes and fice touchdowns.
Shaw, a stand out at Penn State, played in 14 games for the Panthers in 2007, his only season with the team. He would eventually carve out a successful career as a special teamer.
2006 Draft – TE Jeff King
Another successful pick, King was a solid contributor in five seasons with the Panthers. Although mainly a blocking tight end, King caught 112 passes for 923 yards and nine touchdowns during his Panthers’ career.
King was let go when the Panthers transitioned their offense to Cam Newton’s more pass-happy attack. He would play two additional seasons with the Cardinals, catching three touchdown passes.
2005 Draft – LB Adam Seward, C Geoff Hangartner, & DB Ben Emanuel
Hangartner played seven total seasons for the Panthers, starting 57 games along the interior of the offensive line. Frequently lauded for his discipline (only 13 penalties in 118 career games) and his intelligence, Hangartner is one of the diamonds on this otherwise somewhat bleak list. If the Panthers could find a reliable starting interior offensive lineman with the 148th pick, I think the fan base would be absolutely stoked.
Seward was mainly a special teams player, racking up 45 tackles in four seasons with the team.
Emanuel never played for the Panthers and was traded to the 49ers the same season.
2004 Draft – WR Drew Carter
In college, Carter dealt with nagging injuries that hurt his career. It appeared that his NFL career would be more of the same. Carter tore his ACL in training camp of the 2004 season, returning in 2005 and lasting through his rookie contract with the team. He would catch nine touchdown passes, including a 47-yard pass in the 2005 NFC Championship Game.
2003 Draft – DT Kindal Moorehead
Moorehead was the type of player that defies the odds of a 5th-round pick. Only 16.2% of all 5th-rounders survive in the league long enough to play a 5th season, and the Panthers got five years and 79 total games out of Moorehead. By the end of his career, Moorehead would register 10.5 sacks and 123 tackles, even scoring a touchdown. He posted a career-high five sacks in the 2005 season, helping the Panthers reach the NFC Championship game.
2002 Draft – QB Randy Fasani & FB Kyle Johnson
Fasani, Hurney’s first-ever 5th-round pick, was the early 2000s version of Nathan Peterman. He would play in just four games during a brief NFL career and will best be remembered (if anyone does remember him) for posting a 0.0 passer rating in his only career NFL start, completing just five passes and throwing three interceptions to the other team. He was released in the offseason following the 2002 season.
Johnson was a standout fullback at Syracuse but was cut in training camp of the 2002 season. He would eventually carve out a career with the Denver Broncos, but never played a regular-season snap for the Panthers.