Ranking the Carolina Panthers’ Draft Picks from Worst to First

Ranking the Carolina Panthers' Draft Picks from Worst to First

Cam Newton
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have built a solid nucleus around quarterback Cam Newton, but they need to keep adding pieces to stay relevant in the stacked NFC. Here is a breakdown of Carolina did in the 2014 NFL Draft, ranking each pick from worst to first.

6. Tyler Gaffney

Tyler Gaffney
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

6. Tyler Gaffney

Tyler Gaffney
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gaffney was not a bad pick by any means. He is a big, bruising runner at 5-foot-11, 220-pounds and should eventually compete for time as a backup. However, the Panthers are deep at the position right now, so Gaffney will have his work cut out for him and likely will not have a big impact in 2014.

5. Tre Boston

Tre Boston
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

5. Tre Boston

Tre Boston
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Boston is a talented prospect with good size and speed, yet he was a bit of a reach in the fourth round who will need to stand out on special teams to earn his keep early on. But he does have potential down the road to develop into something more.

4. Bene Benwikere

Bene Benwikere
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

4. Bene Benwikere

Bene Benwikere
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers needed help at cornerback, and nabbing Benwikere in the sixth round was a tremendous value. Benwikere finished his career with 14 interceptions and 18 passes defensed, showing his outstanding balls skills. His lack of speed dropped him a little bit, but he has the chance to be a solid nickel corner right away.

3. Trai Turner

Trai Turner
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

3. Trai Turner

Trai Turner
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Turner surprised by entering the draft as a third-year sophomore, but he has all the qualities needed to be a solid starter along the interior offensive line. Turner needs to get stronger and has yet to show a dominant streak, but if the Panthers can develop him, he could be a steal.

2. Kony Ealy

Kony Ealy
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2. Kony Ealy

Kony Ealy
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

You can never have enough pass rushers, and Ealy was one of the better ones in the 2014 draft, making the value too good for Carolina to pass up in round two. Many thought he would go in round one, but inconsistency and needing to develop in the weight room caused Ealy to fall. His loss was the Panthers gain.

1. Kelvin Benjamin

Kelvin Benjamin
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

1. Kelvin Benjamin

Kelvin Benjamin
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Carolina desperately needed a wide receiver, so Benjamin was a logical choice in the first round. The Florida State standout is enormous at 6-foot-5, 240-pounds and will provide Newton a big target with a huge catching radius. Yet Benjamin had just one productive season at Florida State, which makes the third-year sophomore a bit of a risk, even if his talent is evident.


Around the Web