- List of Carolina Panthers first-round draft picks
This is a list of first-round draft picks made by the Carolina Panthersof the National Football League. The Panthers joined the NFL in 1995 as the league's 29th franchise. [Cite web|url=http://www.panthers.com/Team/Default.aspx?id=758|title=History|accessdate=2007-05-28|publisher=Panthers.com] Their first ever selection was Kerry Collins, a quarterbackfrom Penn State, in the 1995 NFL Draft. The team's most-recent first-round selection was Jeff Otah, an offensive tacklefrom the University of Pittsburgh, in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Every year during April, each NFL franchise seeks to add new players to its roster through a collegiate draft officially known as "the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting" but more commonly known as the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in inverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first, and the second worst picking second and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous
Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion "always" picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser "always" picks 31st. Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades. [cite web|url=http://football.about.com/od/miscinformation/a/detdraftorder.htm| last = Alder | first = James | title = "NFL Draft Basics:Determining Order of Selection" | work = About.com| accessdate=2007-12-01] The Panthers have never had the first overall selection; their highest draft position was second overall in 2002 when they selected Julius Peppers, a defensive endfrom North Carolina. The Panthers have twice selected a Miami Hurricanes player in the first round: linebacker Dan Morganin 2001 and Beason in 2007.
Collins, the team's first ever selection, made the
Pro Bowland led the Panthers to the playoffs in only their second season of existence, but he was later released after struggling on and off the field with alcoholism. Rae Carruthbegan his career as a promising wide receiver, ["He played a remarkable rookie season...", "He was "a fast receiver who could catch and had big-play potential," said Hurney."Cite web|url=http://www.courttv.com/trials/carruth/121400_ctv.html|title=Panther back office testifies for Carruth|accessdate=2007-06-01|publisher=CourtTV.com|year=2000-12-14] but he was dropped from the team after being arrested for hiring someone to kill his pregnant girlfriend (he would later be convicted of the crime). Julius Peppers won Rookie of the Year, has been named to the Pro Bowl on several occasions, and is the centerpiece of the Panthers' defensive line. ["On a defensive line that suddenly has emerged as one of the league's best young units... Peppers is the linchpin."Cite web|url=http://espn.go.com/nfl/trainingcamp03/columns/pasquarelli_len/1596555.html|title=Peppers has bulked up, improved footwork|accessdate=2007-05-29|publisher=ESPN.com|year=2003-08-05|author=Len Pasquarelli] Dan Morgan was also a highly touted Pro Bowl linebacker, but repeated concussions had caused him to miss parts of several seasons until the Panthers released him in 2008. The Panthers drafted Jon Beason in 2007 partially to insure their defense against Morgan's absence. ["Beason gives the Panthers the comfort they need at linebacker, where they can't help but be nervous about Dan Morgan's repeated problems with concussions."Cite web|url=http://www.panthers.com/Common/Article.aspx?id=18414|title=What they're saying|accessdate=2007-05-29|publisher=Panthers.com]
When the Panthers and
Jacksonville Jaguarsjoined the league together in 1995, both teams participated in an expansion draft, where they selected players from 30 existing NFL teams. [Cite web|url=http://www.panthers.com/Team/Default.aspx?id=806|title=Expansion Draft|accessdate=2007-05-28|publisher=Panthers.com] This list does not include players selected in that draft.
-! align="center" | 1999
colspan="4" align="center" valign="middle" | "No first-round draft pick"
[The Panthers traded their first round pick to Washington for defensive end
Sean Gilbert.Cite web|url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/1999/nfldraft/news/1999/04/18/carolina_wrap/|title=Defense rules in Carolina's 1999 draft|accessdate=2007-06-01|publisher=SportsIllustrated|year=1999-04-18]
-! align="center" | 2000
align="center" | 23
[The Panthers acquired this pick from Miami in exchange for their 1998 2nd round selection (44th overall, used to select
Patrick Surtain); the Panthers' original first-round selection had been traded to Washington.]
-! align="center" | 2001
align="center" | 11
Pro Football WeeklyAll-Rookie Team, and was later selected to play in the Pro Bowlin 2004 and 2005.
-! align="center" | 2002
Won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, made several All-Rookie teams, and has been selected to the
Pro Bowlin 2005, 2006, and 2007. [Although the Panthers finished the previous season with a league-worst 1-15 record, the Houston Texanswere entering the league for the 2002 season and thus took the first selection.]
-! align="center" | 2003
align="center" | 8
Pro Football WeeklyAll-Rookie Team selection, and Sports IllustratedAll-Pro team.
-! align="center" | 2004
align="center" | 28
Pro Football WeeklyAll-Rookie Team selection. [The Panthers obtained this pick from San Francisco in exchange for first-round (31st overall, used to select Rashaun Woods) and fourth-round (127th overall, used to select Richard Seigler) picks.]
-! align="center" | 2005
-! align="center" | 2006
align="center" | 27
-! align="center" | 2007
align="center" | 25
Pro Football Weekly/PFWA All-Rookie Team. [The Panthers acquired this pick, a second-round (59th overall, used to select
Ryan Kalil) and fifth-round (164th overall, used to select Tim Shaw selections from the New York Jetsin exchange for the Panthers' first-round (14th overall, used to select Darrelle Revis) and sixth-round (191st overall, later traded to Green Bay, used to select Korey Hall) picks.]
-! rowspan="2" align="center" | 2008
align="center" | 19
[The Panthers traded their 2008 2nd (43rd overall), 4th (109th overall), and 2009 1st round picks for the Philadelphia Eagles 1st round pick (19th overall)]
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