CHARLOTTE — The Panthers have signed Derrick Brown, the seventh overall pick in the NFL draft.
The 6-foot-5, 325-pound defensive tackle was a standout at Auburn, earning consensus All-America honors last season and finishing his college career with 170 tackles, 13 sacks and 33 1/2 tackles for loss.
He’s expected to start right away for the Panthers under first-year coach Matt Rhule.
Brown is Carolina’s first 2020 draft pick to sign his rookie contract.
He is expected to bolster a unit that was ravaged in free agency and in dire need of an upgrade.
Brown was a first-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-SEC selection as a senior.
Carolina was torn between taking Brown and Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons with the No. 7 pick, but general manager Marty Hurney says the Panthers wanted to begin building up front on the defensive line.
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