Originally written on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/15/14
After a great second season in the NFL in which the Carolina Panthers won their first division title and their first playoff game, the team headed into the 1997 offseason with high expectations.In the 1997 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers used their first round pick, 27th overall, on wide receiver Rae Carruth.Carruth played four seasons of college football with the Colorado Buffaloes, where he led the Big Eight in receiving yards in 1995 with 1,008 and in 1996 led the Big 12 in receiving yards with 1,116 and in receiving touchdowns with eight.  Carruth had a respectable rookie season playing in 15 games, with 44 receptions, 545 receiving yards and four touchdowns. In the next two seasons with Carolina, Carruth would only play in seven games finishing with only 21 receptions, 259 receiving yards, and zero touchdowns.Carruth’s poor play on the field was not the only reason he was Carolina’s biggest draft day regret, the other reason was the downward spiral of his life off the field.In...
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