The Carolina Panthers have a history of drafting busts.
Center Bruce Nelson was taken in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft with the 50th overall pick. Panthers fans—how well do you remember this guy? Not well, huh? To be honest, I’ve been a Panthers fan since before 2003, and I didn’t even know he existed.
Defensive back Ricky Manning was chosen in the third round of the same draft with the 82nd overall pick. He was incredible for us in the 2003 playoffs, but he only decent otherwise.
Running back Eric Shelton was chosen in the second round of the 2004 draft with the 54th overall pick. He never even started a regular season game for us—and he was, at best, decent in the preseason.
None of these players are currently with the Panthers today.
Receiver Dwayne Jarrett was taken in the second round of the 2007 draft with the 45th overall pick. So far he has been a huge bust. His time in Carolina is running out fast unless he puts together a huge season this year.
Going into the 2007 NFL Draft, it was no secret that the Panthers needed a No.2 wide receiver to complement their star, Steve Smith. There was Smith, and then there was nobody. So the Panthers set out to draft a receiver with their second round pick (they had already used their first round choice on linebacker Jon Beason, who turned out to be an absolute stud). The receiver was Dwayne Jarrett, a product of USC.
When Jarrett was drafted, everyone was happy at first. The Panthers had drafted the wide receiver they needed. It was even better when they signed him in late July 2007—the Panthers officially had the receiver they needed to take some pressure off of Smith.
Training camp arrived, but Jarrett was forced to sit out a week or so at the beginning because he was nursing an injured hamstring. He also missed the preseason opener against the New York Giants.
In the remaining three preseason games Jarrett recorded four grabs for 77 yards, yet no touchdowns.
Jarrett's poor preseason performance, along with other issues unknown to the public, kept him out of regular season games until the fourth game of the year, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had one catch for six yards in that game.
After that he didn't play again until the ninth game of the season. All in all he played in three straight games during that streak—the ninth, 10th, and 11th games of the season. During that time Jarrett posted five receptions for 67 yards and no touchdowns.
No one really knows why he played as little as he did last season. However, it's rumored that he has had disciplinary issues, and that he has been extremely slow to learn the offense and the playbook.
Dwayne Jarrett is hanging by a thread with both the Panthers and their fans. This season will determine whether his string holds or breaks.
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