Super Bowl 50 pits two teams against each other with contrasting styles and significantly different quarterbacks. After the confetti falls on Super Bowl Sunday, we’ll all, or, let’s say most of us, will flip to full-on draft mode for the next few months.
Let’s take a look at how the Panthers and Broncos teams were constructed and compare with the draft in mind.
– The Panthers and Broncos have a similar number of players that began their NFL careers on different teams. The Panthers have 26. The Broncos have 21. The most glaring difference, however, is that Denver’s group consists of more marquee players like, ummm, Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, Evan Mathis, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, Owen Daniels and Emmanuel Sanders.
– The Panthers current 53-man roster is made up of 18 former undrafted free agents. The Broncos have 15 former undrafted free agents.
– The Broncos and Panthers both have nine former first-round draft selections on their rosters.
– Each team traded for a tight end. The Panthers got Greg Olsen from the Bears in 2011 and the Broncos made a deal with the 49ers this season to acquire Vernon Davis.
– The Panthers had one heck of draft in 2012, even if it was really made by just two players. Future All-Pro Luke Kuechly was the team’s opening pick in Round 1. All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman was picked in Round 5. The Broncos drafted future All-Pros in back-to-back first rounds in 2010 and 2011 — Demaryius Thomas and Von Miller.
– The SEC reigns supreme on both rosters and Super Bowl 50 as a whole. It’s the only conference represented in double digits on the Panthers and the Broncos. Carolina has 12 former SEC players while Denver has 10.
– The Broncos and Panthers have a combined 28 former first- or-second-round picks on their rosters, which means 26.4 percent of the 106 rostered players on both Super Bowl teams were taken in one of the first two rounds.
– The Broncos and Panthers have a grand total of eight former seventh-round picks on their rosters. Yes, that round matters.
– Carolina has drafted particularly well on defense. For Super Bowl 50, of the 17 players who typically see the field for the Panthers, 11 were picked by Carolina.
– There are more players who went to Coastal Carolina (2) — Josh Norman and Mike Tolbert — than players who attended the University of Southern California (1) — Ryan Kalil — in Super Bowl 50. Pretty crazy. Wait, no… extremely crazy. By the way, Coastal Carolina’s mascot is… a Chanticleer and they played their first football game in 2003. USC’s mascot is a Trojan and their football program was established in 1888. Just thought I’d throw in those facts.
– Speaking of obscure colleges, Panthers fifth-string running back Brandon Wegher went to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Their third-string tight end Scott Simonson went to Assumption College in Worchester, Massachusetts.
Here is a look at each team, and how they were constructed in the draft. Notice the players with ^ next to their names were NOT selected by the team they will represent in the Super Bowl.
[table id=panthersroster /]
[table id=broncosroster /]