The UPoR offers up a handy recap of the Panthers’ 2011 draft, which saw the team take Cam Newton and a bunch of guys that are no longer on the team. And that would be a huge problem especially when the Panthers were going first in every round of the draft in which they still had a pick. Jonathan Jones writes that:
Marty Hurney was fired in part because of big running back contracts and less-than-successful mid- to late-round draft picks in the final few years. Outside of Newton, there’s no question the 2011 draft was the least fruitful for the Panthers in recent memory.
Maybe. 2011 was certainly a bad draft for the Panthers but 2009 and 2010 weren’t much better. In 2009, the Panthers had seven picks, including five in the second, third, or fourth round, which netted them one and a half productive players: Captain Munnerlyn become a starter at cornerback while Sherrod Martin started his second and third year in the league before losing his first-team job his fourth year in the league. In 2010, the Panthers had 10 picks but only two — Greg Hardy and Brandon LaFell — really contributed. But Jones is certainly correct that those sorts of draft and player personnel development failures will help get a GM fired.