Dave Gettleman is preparing for his third NFL draft as the Panthers’ general manager, and the job he’s done in the draft and free agency departments has him getting high marks nationally.
Patrick Daugherty of Rotoworld.com ranks Gettleman as the ninth-best GM in the NFL in his second annual look at the league’s general managers.
Gettleman is up five spots from 14th in last year’s rankings from Daugherty. Of the eight men in front of him, five have won Super Bowls as GMs and no one has been with his team for a shorter amount of time.
“Dave Gettleman’s predecessor Marty Hurney believed in one thing – making running backs rich,” Daughtery said in his post. “That, and a draft ‘strategy’ which once called for trading a future first-rounder for the No. 43 overall pick (used on Everette Brown) left Gettleman with a cupboard that achieved the rare feat of being not only bare, but ruinously expensive.
“It limited Gettleman to two years of dollar-store shopping – two years that also produced back-to-back playoff appearances, and the first repeat champions in the history of the NFC South. Gettleman’s (handling) of an overextended roster has laid the foundation for a bright future, and left behind the funds to lock up cornerstones Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly. A solid drafter who has avoided free-agent mistakes – Michael Oher will test this in 2015 – Gettleman hasn’t been flashy, but he’s been the kind of solid Carolina desperately needed in the post-Hurney era.”
In fairness to Hurney, and as Gettleman regularly points out, Hurney did draft the team’s franchise quarterback and centerpiece of the defense.
But Gettleman’s draft successes – Kelvin Benjamin, Star Lotulelei and Bene Benwikere – outweigh his shortcomings: lineman Edmund Kugbila and the loss of running back Tyler Gaffney. He’s also been smart in free agency.
Back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in team and division history means something. And as Observer columnist Tom Sorensen wrote last week, Gettleman is working on making it three.
Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9
NFL’s top GMs
The Panthers’ Dave Gettleman is the NFL’s ninth-best general manager, according to Patrick Daugherty of Rotoworld.com. His top 10:
1. Bill Belichick
2. Ozzie Newsome
3. John Schneider
4. Ted Thompson
5. John Elway
6. Mike Brown/
7. Steve Keim
8. Jerry Reese
9. Dave Gettleman
10. Mickey Loomis