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Carolina Panthers Select Vernon Butler in First Round

The Carolina Panthers select defensive tackle Vernon Butler with the 30th overall pick in the first round.

The Carolina Panthers bolstered their defensive line with their first pick of the NFL Draft, 30th overall, by selecting defensive tackle Vernon Butler from Louisiana Tech.

The 6'4", 323 pound tackle excelled in the interior as a tackle, showing excellent quickness that allowed him to make plays in the backfield. In the final two seasons he had at Louisiana Tech, he had 22.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks.

The Panthers necessarily may not have needed a defensive tackle with Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei back this year as well as the addition of Paul Soliai and the team re-signing Kyle Love. However, Short is in the final year of his contract and Butler could fill that role in this offense of a quick defensive tackle collapsing the pocket from the interior.

GM Dave Gettleman believes in building his team in the trenches and a strong defensive line makes the rest of the defense better. The selection of Butler makes sense in following this model and with the Panthers able to rotate these athletic defensive tackles, it will tire out opposing offensive lines.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

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