Football

No. 9 best draft pick in Panthers history: Josh Norman

The Panthers drafted Josh Norman in the 5th round in 2012 and he slowly developed into an All-Pro cornerback.
The Panthers drafted Josh Norman in the 5th round in 2012 and he slowly developed into an All-Pro cornerback. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The Carolina Panthers are a successful, albeit young franchise with only 24 NFL Drafts to analyze. But as the team prepares for draft number 25, we look back at some of the highs and lows along the way.

Welcome to the bright side of the NFL Draft, as we visit the 10 best picks in Panthers history.

No. 9 best pick: CB Josh Norman (2012)

Regardless of how the relationship between Norman and the Panthers ended, only 12 Carolina draftees have ever been named First-Team All-Pro — none drafted lower than Norman.

A fifth-round (143rd overall) selection out of Coastal Carolina, Norman worked his way out of Ron Rivera’s doghouse during his first two seasons and slowly became one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, perhaps hitting his peak during the Panthers’ Super Bowl run in 2015.

He was named to his first and only Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams in 2015, establishing himself as a shutdown cornerback in his fourth season.

Carolina placed a franchise tag on him as he entered free agency that offseason, only to rescind the offer, allowing him to sign a record 5-year, $75 million deal with Washington. He reminded the Panthers what they lost when the teams met during the 2018 season, intercepting Cam Newton and forcing a fumble in a 23-17 Washington victory.



Marcel Louis-Jacques covers the Carolina Panthers for the Charlotte Observer, keeping you on top of Panthers news both on the field and behind the scenes. He is a 2014 graduate of Arizona State University and grew up in Sacramento, California.


  Comments