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Top 10 greatest Carolina Panthers draft picks: Part 2

The powerful blocking of fullback Brad Hoover is one of the major reasons the Carolina Panthers had such a good run game between 2000 and 2009.

The powerful blocking of fullback Brad Hoover is one of the major reasons the Carolina Panthers had such a good run game between 2000 and 2009.

Now that the 2013 NFL Draft is over and we are being subjected to the agony of NFL offseason, I think it’s a good time to take a walk back through history and look at the top ten greatest players the Carolina Panthers have drafted. On Friday we profiled picks 10 through 6; today we pay homage to the Top Five.

The Top Five

Mike Minter put fear in the hearts and souls of every offensive player he played against

Safety Mike Minter put fear in the heart of every offensive player he played against.

5. Brad Hoover (2000: undrafted)

Okay, so maybe I should have titled this piece “Top 10 greatest players who started with the Carolina Panthers.” Fullback Brad Hoover spent his entire career in Carolina, and he belongs on this list.

His rookie year he entered training camp as a running back because starter Tim Biakabutuka was injured; Hoover then moved to fullback when Biakabutuka returned. A decent running back, Hoover excelled at the fullback position because he was a great run blocker and a good reviving threat out of the backfield. In 2009 he became the only fullback in NFL history to block for two 1,100-yard rushers (Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams) in the same season.

4. Mike Minter (1997: 2nd round, 56th overall)

Mike Minter was a hard-hitting free safety opposing offenses feared. He was very good in coverage but was at his best when he could blitz and hit the quarterback or running back. Over the course of his career, he totaled 787 tackles, 12 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, and 17 interceptions.

Although no longer with the team, wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad is still loved by every Carolina Panthers fan.

Although no longer with the team, wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad is still loved by every Carolina Panthers fan.

3. Muhsin Muhammad (1996: 2nd round, 46th overall)

Wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad was a complete player; he could do it all. Although he didn’t have elite speed, he had great hands and ran crisp routes that helped him break off the big play from time to time. He was also physical at the line of scrimmage, making him a solid run blocker. “Moose” holds the record for longest play from scrimmage in Super Bowl history at 85 yards. He finished with 860 receptions, 11,438 receiving yards, and 62 touchdowns.

2. Julius Peppers (2002: 1st round, 2nd overall)

If there is one word to describe defensive end Julius Peppers, it is freak. There is a reason he has been called The Freak of Nature. He is one of the most — if not the most — athletically gifted players in the NFL. Not only can sack the quarterback, he can get his hands in the air and intercept the football. Now with the Chicago Bears, Peppers remains Carolina’s all-time sack leader with 81. To this point, Peppers has amassed 512 tackles, 111.5 sacks, 37 forced fumbles, and eight interceptions.

They don't come tougher than The Freak of Nature himself, defensive end Julius Peppers.

They don’t come tougher than The Freak of Nature himself, defensive end Julius Peppers.

And now for the all-time greatest Carolina Panthers draft pick!

Drumroll, please . . .

1. Steve Smith (2001: 3rd round, 74th overall)

Due to his diminutive stature, wide receiver Steve Smith was originally regarded as little more than a return man at best. He was a pretty good one at that; in the four years he returned kicks, he accumulated 4,069 return yards and six touchdowns. Smith always played with a chip on his shoulder, and in his prime was one of the most respected and prolific receivers in the NFL. His best season was 2005, when he lead the league in receptions (103), receiving yards, (1,563), and touchdowns (12). Even at his advanced age (he’ll be 34 this year), Smith remains an upper-echelon pass catcher. Steve Smith proved that smaller wide receivers can play outside and put up big numbers against No. 1 cornerbacks.

Steve Smith was shorter than the prototypical NFL wide receiver, but he could make teams pay, as the 2008 Green Bay Packers learned to their sorrow.

Steve Smith was shorter than the prototypical NFL wide receiver, but he could make teams pay, as the 2008 Green Bay Packers learned to their sorrow.

715 comments
JVince 11
JVince 11

MM was also the OC for the Saints from 2000-2004 and went 10-6, 7-9, 9-7, 8-8, and 8-8.

2000 - Jeff Flake and Aaron Brooks were his QBs with Ricky Williams getting 248 attempts

2001 - Aaron Brooks at QB 3.8k yards 26/22, Rick yWilliams with 313 attempts and 1245 yards

2002 - Aaron Brooks at QB 3.500 yards, 27/15 , Deuce McAllister with 325 attempts and 1388 yards

2003 - Aaron Brooks at QB 3.5k yards, 24 Tds/8 Ints, Deuce with 351 touches and 1646 yards

2004 - Brooks at QB 3800 yards 21/16, Deuce with 269 touches and 1074 yards.

2005 - SF - 4-12 - A. Smith, Rattay, Dorsey, and Pickett all started at QB 2190 yards 8/21 ratio, between Barlow and Gore they had 203 touchs for 1189 yards.


As Vic Ketchum always says.. Players and NOT Plays.

UnModded Reggie
UnModded Reggie moderator

Also Rose was ruled out for tonight.

WHO KNEW????

UnModded Reggie
UnModded Reggie moderator

Whoa, just remembered  today is my friends birthday. would have turned 19. RIP broseph!

JVince 11
JVince 11

An interesting note... it says that Trestman was used to help coach several NFL QBs...


Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, Tim Tebow, Jimmy Clauson, Jason Campbell, and Jay Cutler..

interesting group there.

FalconsFan0125
FalconsFan0125 moderator

@reggiesnodeuce Rose needs to quit being a pussy and tell the fans and media straight up that he isnt coming back so they can stop talking about it. 

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

apparently no one in the media did, since they continue to make a big story out of it.

adambballn
adambballn

@Nard-Dog 

I'd like to turn it up a notch this season... I'm talking Karaoke performances on youtube and shit.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

Vikings will help you get your zzzzzz's.

(hopefully someone else remembers the Nytol jingle)

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

Rose has continually said he's not ready.  I don't think that he has "left the door open."

I just think the media blew this one way out of proportion (shocking, I know).

FalconsFan0125
FalconsFan0125 moderator

@reggiesnodeuce Idiot Bulls fans in atlanta think hes coming back. Rose needs to man up and tell the media that he isnt. Whats the point of keeping the door open?

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

@jwoude23 Bear Down he makes them look good in shorts and t-shirts, no games, Akili Smith looked good enough in shorts and a t-shirt that he got drafted #2 or 3 overall and then got another contract in GB