Dave Gentleman first rounders: Where are they now?
Carolina Panthers: WR Kelvin Benjamin
2014 – Pick #28
Kelvin Benjamin was a lightning rod for the Panthers in his rookie season.
That year, he caught 73 passes for 1008 yards and nine touchdowns — all would be career highs.
He proved to be a favorite target for Cam Newton. His 1000+ yards were tied with Greg Olsen for the team lead in 2014, but his 146 targets were far more than any other player.
Benjamin also helped bring the Panthers to the divisional round of the playoffs. In his two playoff games, he recorded 11 receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2015, Benjamin missed an entire season on the IR, and it spelled the beginning of the end for what looked like a promising career.
In 2017, after playing in eight games for the Panthers and recording 32 receptions for 475 yards and two touchdowns, he was traded to the Buffalo Bills for a third-round and a seventh-round draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Benjamin caught 16 passes for 217 yards in the six games played for the Bills in the regular season, and had one reception for nine yards in a playoff game.
But after 12 games and 354 receiving yards in 2018, the Panthers cut Benjamin. He would play in three more games that season for the Kansas City Chiefs, but had just two catches for 26 yards.
He has not played in the NFL since.
All told, Benjamin was one of Gettleman’s worst first-round draft picks in his last 10 attempts.