Carolina Panther message boards exploded. Sports radio in the Charlotte area erupted. The majority of the Carolina Panther fans were up hauled at the trade. Most felt the Panthers could land an OT later in the draft without trading the 2009 first round pick.
But as the season went on, it was clear that Otah was vastly becoming one of the best young OT’s in the NFL, and Coach Fox and Marty Hurney were brilliant pulling the move off. Otah helped propel Carolina to one of the most dominating rushing attacks in the NFL.
Panther fans grew quiet about the trade, until the days leading up to April 25, 2009. That’s when the rambling started up again.
Carolina was going into the 2009 NFL Draft without a first round pick, and also was slated as the last team in the NFL to make a selection in the draft.
Although Carolina returns 21 of 22 starters from a 12-4 team, the fans of the Panthers want to continue to upgrade at every position. There really isn’t anything wrong with that. So the fans treasure every early pick, and become very opinionated when the team gives away first round picks.
Then the Panther organization did it again. Carolina pulled the plug and traded the 2010 first round pick to move up and select DE Everette Brown from FSU.
Of course we all know the reaction from the fans at this point. Most were unhappy with the trade, again, and let their voices be heard, again.
Now that everyone is somewhat settled down and the draft is long gone, let’s see what all the fuss was about. Let’s take a look at who Everette Brown is.
Everette Brown was born Aug. 7, 1987 and raised in Stantonsburg N.C.
He attended Benningfield High School where he played football as both Tight End and Defensive End. As a H.S. senior, Brown caught 40 passes for 770 yards and 10 TD’s. On defense Brown recorded 120 tackles and 16 sacks as a senior.
Brown appeared on the rivals.com top 100 list at the No. 3 position as best defensive ends coming out of H.S. in 2004. He was listed as a 4-star recruit.
Florida State beat out Georgia, North Carolina, N.C.State, Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Tennessee in the battle to sign Brown. On Jan. 5, 2005 Brown signed his letter of intent.
Brown red-shirted his freshman season in 2004 then took off his final three seasons at FSU, becoming an impact player for the Seminoles.
In three seasons, Brown tallied up 100 tackles, and 22 sacks. His senior season at FSU in 2007-08 he recorded 37 tackles and 13 sacks.
Brown lingered around the top 5 DE’s coming into the 2009 NFL Draft. He decided to hold various workouts for certain teams, as well as taking advantage of the Combine in Indianapolis.
At the Combine, Brown was measured at 6’2”, 256 lbs. The 6’4” mark is the height most NFL GM’s want to see when drafting future DE’s. Those 2” is probably what cost Brown in the draft, as he was expected to be in the overall top 20 mix, but fell all the way to round No. 2 pick and overall pick No. 43.
Whether it is 2”, a future first round pick, or just simply being doubted by others Brown will come into training camp as a potential future starter for the Panthers, and insurance for whatever happens to Julius Peppers.
A note to doubting Panther fans: Jeff Otah is an example of why we should not judge until we actually have the chance to see Everette Brown in action.