The best pick of the draft... Sam Gettleman

May, 10, 2014
May 10
10:05
AM ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Sam Gettleman can't help protect quarterback Cam Newton's blind side or block for running back DeAngelo Williams. He's not a hog mollie lineman or a blue goose pass rusher.

But he was the best pick of Saturday's NFL draft.

Maybe the entire draft.

That's because his father, Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, picked to be in Massachusetts with him as he graduated from Becker College instead of the war room at Bank of America Stadium.

There will be other drafts for Dave Gettleman. There won't be other opportunities to share in such an important moment in the life of his son.

Kudos to Gettleman for keeping his priorities in order.

And it's not like Gettleman is going to miss the draft. Thanks to the 11 a.m. graduation time -- the draft doesn't begin again until noon -- and technology, he'll participate via Skype with head coach Ron Rivera and the rest of the Carolina staff in Charlotte.

"If we pick four defensive players (in rounds four through seven) you'll know why,'' joked Rivera, a former defensive coordinator.

And no, Gettleman isn't going to let a media member make one of his picks.

"I'm not that crazy,'' he said.

But he was smart enough to pick family over the draft. He didn't make a better or bigger pick the entire draft.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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