Pick Six: Panthers’ all-time draft busts

QB Kerry Collins in action during the 1997 season against the San Diego Chargers. (NFL Photos)

Should the Panthers already cut bait on QB Jimmy Clausen? That seems a bit quick right? I mean the ill-fated CBS drama “Viva Laughlin” was given a longer chance to succeed. But the Panthers could be looking for a quarterback in the 2011 draft, which would mean that Clausen is likely on the move.

Would this make Clausen the biggest draft bust in Panthers’ history? Come on, he might get a chance to prove himself this season. So the window is still open. Besides there are plenty of other candidates who make this list.

6. DE Everette Brown, 43rd overall, 2009
Alright, so we are going with an active player. However, the Panthers traded its first-round pick in 2010 to select Brown. He was expected to step in and replace Julius Peppers in 2010, but started only two games and recorded only 3.5 sacks. He still has a chance to redeem himself, but he needs to do so in a hurry.

Could have had: For fun, let’s say that the Panthers kept the pick, took WR Dez Bryant in 2010, and you wonder if the quarterbacks — Matt Moore or Clausen — would have had a better chance to succeed last season.

5. DT Jason Peter, 14th overall, 1998
The Panthers thought they had the anchor of their defensive line when Peters fell to them. But a chronic neck stinger cost him his career in 2000.

Could have had: The Panthers certainly were not alone here, but they were one of the teams that passed on WR Randy Moss. Though, I am not sure how a locker room with Moss and Kerry Collins would have functioned in 1998.

4. CB Rashard Anderson, 23rd overall, 2000
Anderson lasted only two seasons in the NFL before being suspended by the league for violating the league’s substance abuse policy in 2002. He was reinstated in 2003, but he has not played in the league since.

Could have had: The Panthers didn’t miss out on any superstars, thankfully. But LB Keith Bulluck could have been a nice addition.

3. WR Rae Carruth, 27th overall, 1997
Carruth was a promising receiver who had a nice rookie season, but injuries hurt him over the next two years. His NFL career ended when he was convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder along with other charges.

Could have had: CB Sam Madison who went to the Dolphins in the second round, would have been a nice addition to that team.

2. RB Tim Biakabutuka, eighth overall, 1996
Biakabutuka was one of the most well-known players entering the draft in 1996, having made a name for himself at the University of Michigan. Injuries curtailed his career, and his best NFL season came when he rushed for 718 yards and six touchdowns in 1999.

Could have had: The Houston Oilers grabbed Eddie George with the 14th overall pick. The Panthers took the wrong side of that rivalry.

1. QB Kerry Collins, fifth overall, 1995
Collins did lead the Panthers to the 1996 NFC Championship Game and was selected to the Pro Bowl that season. So he certainly had his moments. But the first pick in franchise history had a rather disastrous career plagued by off-the-field troubles and he was out of Carolina before the 1998 season ended. You want a bit more out of the player expected to be the face of your franchise.

Could have had: The Panthers had the first pick in the draft, and traded it to the Bengals who selected Ki-Jana Carter. But imagine if the Panthers had held on to the top pick and selected QB Steve McNair instead.

Others: Jets, Raiders

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