Welcome to the bright side of the NFL Draft, as we re-visit the 10 best picks in Carolina Panthers history.
No. 6 best pick: DT Kris Jenkins (2001)
The Panthers first-round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, linebacker Dan Morgan, was solid but oft-injured. But Carolina’s best pick that year came via second-round selection Kris Jenkins.
The No. 44 overall pick out of Maryland, Jenkins started 11 games as a rookie and made consecutive Pro Bowls and All-Pro teams in his second and third seasons, recording a combined 14 sacks and 35 tackles for a loss in those three seasons. While he battled injuries during the 2004 and 2005 seasons, missing all but five games, Jenkins returned to his Pro Bowl form in 2006, playing in all 32 possible games over the next two seasons.
He is currently one of five Carolina draftees to make multiple All-Pro teams.
The Panthers traded Jenkins to the New York Jets in 2008, with whom he turned in the third-most valuable season of his career per Pro Football Reference. Although he didn’t finish his career in Carolina, he teamed up with a future member of this list to form one of the most formidable defensive lines in the NFL from 2002 until his departure in 2008.