Carolina Panthers

NFL Draft: What could the Panthers find in the 2nd round? A history of the 47th pick

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Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera and mascot Sir Purr visit the Governor and the House and Senate, hoping to seal deal to locate practice facilities in South Carolina

Historically, the second round of the NFL Draft is full of players with first-round talent but with “something” missing in the eyes of the league’s talent evaluators.

Maybe it’s a receiver with blazing speed, but poormeasurables like DeSean Jackson. Or a small-school offensive lineman like Larry Allen. Regardless, there are quality, franchise-changing players available in the second round of nearly every draft, and the Carolina Panthers will get the chance to take one with the No. 47 overall pick.

There have been a few All-Pro players taken at that spot in recent years; there have also been a few ... unfortunate ... decisions made as well.

Here’s how the No. 47 pick has played out.

The Good

Bobby Wagner, LB: The second round of the 2012 NFL Draft was full of notable players — Alshon Jeffrey, Kelechi Osemele and Lavonte David, for short. But the Seattle Seahawks got the best of the bunch with Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner, who’s made five Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams in his seven-year career.

Michael Thomas, WR: The New Orleans Saints made the Ohio State product the sixth wide receiver taken in the 2016 draft, leaving one question — how in the world did he fall so far? All Thomas has done ever since is make two Pro Bowls, an All-Pro Team and caught the most passes in the first three years of his career than any other player in NFL history.

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New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas is another reminder of what talent may await at No. 47 overall. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Jerry Sherk, DT: There weren’t many transcendent talents in the second round of the 1970 draft, but the Cleveland Browns nailed their selection with this Oklahoma State defensive tackle, the only player in the round to make an All-Pro team.

The Bad

Fred Vinson, DB: Vinson, who played at Vanderbilt, never made a Pro Bowl — mostly because he only played in 16 games after the Green Bay Packers drafted him in 1999. He missed the next season after tearing his ACL in the preseason and never played in the NFL again.

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Cornerback Fred Vinson (31) attempted a comeback with the Carolina Panthers but ultimately never played after his rookie season in 1999. CHRISTOPHER A. RECORD

Darryal Wilson, WR: The New England Patriots’ second-rounder out of Tennessee in 1983 didn’t record a single catch, injuring his knee midway through his rookie year and re-injuring the same knee the following preseason. To make matters worse, the Patriots left a combined 12,400 rushing yards on the board in choosing Wilson over running backs Roger Craig and Johnny Hector.

Tyus Bowser, OLB: It’d normally be too early to call a player two years into his career a “bad” selection. But Baltimore drafted him over Juju Smith-Schuster in 2017 — who would have undoubtedly made a major impact for the Ravens. Meanwhile, Bowser, who played at Houston, has made a marginal contribution, with 3.5 sacks and 13 tackles in 31 games.

The Ugly

Shane Collins, DE: Collins totaled one career sack after Washington drafted him in 1992 out of Arizona State. The four pass-rushers selected in the next seven picks after him totaled 23, 58.5, 60.5 and 44 sacks, in that order. So, yeah, this wasn’t a good pick. At all.

Gavin Escobar, TE: You could excuse the Dallas Cowboys for not selecting Le’Veon Bell with the 47th pick of the 2013 draft, because DeMarco Murray was fresh off an 1,100-yard season. Even passing on Vance McDonald isn’t that big of a deal, despite his objectively better career than Escobar to this point. But there’s no giving them a pass for taking Escobar, who played at San Diego State, over Travis Kelce, who went to Kansas City 16 picks later. Just imagine a Dallas offense with Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Kelce and Murray.



Marcel Louis-Jacques covers the Carolina Panthers for the Charlotte Observer, keeping you on top of Panthers news both on the field and behind the scenes. He is a 2014 graduate of Arizona State University and grew up in Sacramento, California.


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