How the 2009 draft brought Cam Newton to the Carolina Panthers


Coming off a bounce-back 12-4 season, the Carolina Panthers came into the 2009 draft hoping to build on the momentum. With the team full of aging stars (such as Jake Delhomme, Chris Gamble, and Jordan Gross), this was be an important draft to continue replenishing the roster with young stars to complement the ones brought in recent drafts (such as DeAngelo Williams and Jon Beason). What would Marty Hurney, John Fox, and co. do?


Everette Brown: The Florida State product never lived up to his selection by a long shot. Brown was officially a second round selection but the Panthers traded their 2010 first round pick to acquire the pick they used to take him, making it that much worse. He only started three games as a Panther, recording six sacks in two seasons, adding on 47 tackles. After his time in Carolina, he spent one year in San Diego, making two tackles in three games in 2011. He was out of the NFL in 2012 and then signed with Dallas in 2013, and made one sack and five tackles.


Sherrod Martin: After a promising start to his career, a rookie year with three interceptions and four passes defended in only five starts, he was made a full time starter. Over the next two seasons he started in 31 games, recording four interceptions and defending 13 passes and racking up 145 total tackles. But he fell out of favor, and didn’t start a game in 2012, which would be his last year in the NFL.


Corney Irvin: The former Georgia Bulldog has not started a single game in his NFL career. He has 24 games appeared in, and only two of them for the Panthers. He has 14 career tackles. After 2010, the only year he saw action in Carolina, he has bounced around to Jacksonville, Tampa and spent 2013 in Dallas (noticing a pattern?).


Mike Goodson: The former Texas A&M back was well known for his speed coming into the league, but his frame was an issue. He returned kickoffs for the Panthers, averaging 21.8 yards per return his three years in Carolina. He got 125 carries during that time, rushing for three touchdowns in the 2010 season. After three years in Carolina he played one year in Oakland, where he recorded his only touchdown outside of Carolina, and spent last season with the New York Jets.


Tony Fiammetta: The former Syracuse back has been much better suited as a fullback in the NFL, but with the way the league has become, the demand for fullbacks is low. He spent two years in Carolina, and has bounced around between Dallas, New England and Chicago over the last three seasons. Has 23 career touches with no scores.


Duke Robinson: The two time All-American offensive lineman out of Oklahoma never played in the NFL.


Captain Munnerlyn: The South Carolina product came on a little slowly, but showed that he has a nose for the end zone. He has five career touchdowns seven career interceptions. Has forced four fumbles and recorded 275 total tackles in five years. After having arguably his best season in 2013, he left for the Vikings this offseason.


Grade for the class: D- When a 7th round pick is the best player taken, it’s not a great draft class. In fact, the last pick of this class, Munnerlyn, made by far the biggest impact. There were a lot of classes in recent years that contributed, but failed picks in this class were arguably the straw that broke the camel’s back en route to the downfall of 2010. Here’s a positive though: If Carolina wasn’t awful in 2010, Cam Newton wouldn’t be the quarterback right now.

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