Panthers GM Dave Gettleman still above the curve in NFL draft

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has eight picks at his disposal in the upcoming draft. AP Photo/Chuck Burton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Beyond wins and losses, an NFL general manager is judged in large part by how he performs in the draft.

That in large part led to the demise of former Carolina Panthers general manager Mary Hurney, who was fired during the 2012 season.

The jury remains out on current Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, although early signs are positive.

Gettleman has drafted 21 players since taking over in 2013. Fourteen remain on the roster, a strong success rate of 66.6 percent.

But when you look closely, those numbers are padded by nine of 10 picks from the last two classes remaining on the roster. That’s not a huge surprise when you consider general managers are reluctant to give up on draft picks in their first two years.

Perhaps the better judge of Gettleman in the draft comes from his first two years. Only five of 11 players (45 percent) remain on the roster.

That’s still not bad. According to a recent survey of ESPN NFL Nation reporters by Vikings reporter Ben Goessling, just 129 of 761 players taken in the 2011-2013 drafts (16.9 percent) remain with the team that drafted them.

So Gettleman is well above the curve.

Hurney was not. Of the 32 players he selected in his last four drafts (2009-2012), only four remain on the roster. That’s a success rate of 12.5.

Two of those -- cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (7th, 2009) and guard Amini Silatolu (2nd, 2012) -- went elsewhere and were re-signed by Gettleman this offseason.

That’s not a good recipe for sustainable success and explains in part why Carolina didn’t have a winning record during Hurney's four seasons.

Hurney’s 2010 draft was one of the worst in team history. None of the 10 players selected are on Carolina’s current roster.

Quarterback Jimmy Clausen, selected in the second round with the team’s first pick, was waived with an injury designation before the 2013 season and isn’t on a roster. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell, currently with Cincinnati, is the only member of that class still in the NFL.

That’s a big fail.

Quarterback Cam Newton is the only one left of eight players from Hurney’s 2011 draft class.

Another big fail.

This year’s draft is critical for Gettleman. With eight picks, including three in the first two rounds of a deep and talented pool, he needs to hit on a high percentage to replenish an aging roster and rebound from a 6-10 season.

“This is a damn good draft," Gettleman said recently. “It’s a talented draft. It really is. I’m thrilled we’ve got eight picks."

Now he just has to make the most of them.

Here’s a complete look at how Gettleman has done in the draft:


Remaining on roster

1st round: DT Star Lotulelei

2nd round: DT Kawann Short


4th round: OL Edmund Kugbila (free agent)

5th round: LB A.J. Klein (Saints)

6th round: RB Kenyon Barner (Chargers)


Remaining on roster

1st round: WR Kelvin Benjamin

3rd round: OG Trai Turner

4th round: FS Tre Boston


2nd round: DE Kony Ealy (Patriots)

5th round: CB Bene' Benwikere (Bengals)

6th round: RB Tyler Gaffney (free agent)


Remaining on roster

1st round: LB Shaq Thompson

2nd round: WR Devin Funchess

4th round: OT Daryl Williams

5th round: LB David Mayo

5th round: RB Cameron Artis-Payne




Remaining on roster

1st round: DT Vernon Butler

2nd round: CB James Bradberry

3rd round: CB Daryl Worley

5th round: Zack Sanchez


7th round: TE Beau Sandland (Packers)