This past weekend was fairly successful for the Panthers as several players were drafted...albeit, some a little lower than maybe they anticipated.
LeSean McCoy, hoping to be a first-round pick, fell to the lower end of the second round. As the article mentions, Shady may have cost himself as much as $30 - $40 million had he come back and been a top ten pick. That may be true, but considering where he was drafted, it would have been a reach for him to get that high. Many teams wait to select running backs and he would have really had to have a breakout year to move up that high.
Scott McKillop was next for the Panthers - down in the 5th round. But he didn't sound too disappointed in it. The PG played up the angle of McKillop going to play under Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary.
"It is great to be drafted by a guy who is the best player ever at the position I am trying to play," McKillop said. "I'm happy ... I said, just give me an opportunity and I'll make the most of it by any means necessary. Obviously I would have liked to get picked sooner, but the thing is, the 49ers have a spot for me and really wanted me, and that means more.
"I think finding the right fit for me was the most important thing and I really believe that this is a great, great situation for me."
Pitt then ended up with a pair of seventh rounders in LaRod Stephens-Howling and Derek Kinder. It was good to see both of them get drafted after some trying circumstances. LSH seemed genuinely excited about getting drafted:
"I couldn’t think of a better birthday present," Stephens-Howling said from his Johnstown home, where he watched the draft with some immediate family members.
"I was told the whole time that I could go from the sixth round to free agent," he said. "I just tried to relax as much as I could and take my mind off it. Seattle and Arizona called me about being a free agent before I got drafted, so I was thinking I was only going to be a free agent.
Kinder also got a mention in his local paper in Buffalo.
"I got a phone call first, and I was just getting antsy. I had to leave the house and play catch for a little bit with my (5-year-old) nephew when the Cardinals called. (But) it’s a great feeling. ... We just celebrated mine (pick), then saw (former Pitt player) Rashad (Jennings). I felt good for him, and then we saw Derek Kinder. It was great to see guys you know get a chance."
Almost lost in the mix was former Panther Rashad Jennings who went on to have a pretty good career at I-AA Liberty with 1,500+ yards last year - he was drafted right before Kinder.
Another former Pitt player, running back Rashad Jennings, was chosen by Jacksonville one pick ahead of Kinder. Jennings played for the Panthers as a freshman in 2005, but transferred before his sophomore season to Division I-AA Liberty in his hometown of Lynchburg, Va.
After the draft, two Pitt players hoping to be drafted, long-snapper Mark Estermyer and offensive lineman C.J. Davis, quickly found homes with the Steelers and Carolina Panthers respectively. Was a little surprised to see C.J. fall. There had been talk about him getting drafted in a late round.