Terry Godwin Jersey

CHARLOTTE – The Panthers used the seventh-round draft choice acquired in a trade Saturday to select Georgia wide receiver Terry Godwin.

The Panthers came into the draft without a seventh-round pick, having traded it to the Bills prior to the start of the 2017 season for cornerback Kevon Seymour. Carolina acquired the 237th overall pick in a trade with the Broncos, sending its earlier sixth-round pick (187) in exchange for Denver’s later one (212) and the Broncos’ seventh-rounder. Carolina used its new sixth-rounder on offensive tackle Dennis Daley.

Godwin caught 133 passes for 1,788 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Bulldogs. He was selected in the 33rd round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft by the Braves.

“I’d probably have to say today, cause my heart is with football and just being able to live out a long dream of getting drafted is finally coming to a reality,” Godwin said when asked which draft day meant more to him. “Today has to be one of the best moments of my life.”

Carolina began the first and last days of the draft by taking versatile edge defenders Brian Burns (first round) and Christian Miller (fourth round), then added running back Jordan Scarlett (fifth round). In between on Day Two, the Panthers selected offensive tackle Greg Little (second round) and quarterback Will Grier (third round).

Dennis Daley Jersey

CHARLOTTE – The Panthers traded their sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, then used their new sixth-rounder to select South Carolina offensive tackle Dennis Daley.

“It’s a blessing, man. I’m really excited,” Daley said, adding that he’s willing to play any position on the line.

Carolina sent pick No. 187 to the Broncos and acquired Denver’s pick at No. 212 as well as the Broncos’ seventh-round selection (No. 237) still to come.

The Panthers used the 212th pick on Daley, a 6-foot-5, 317-pounder from the University of South Carolina who started 23 games for the Gamecocks at left tackle. That’s the position he’s played his whole life.

“I’m willing to do anything. Anything,” Daley said. “I’ll play left tackle, left guard. I’ll even play center if I have to. I’ll play right guard, right tackle. I’ll play all five.”

Daley, like fourth-round choice Christian Miller, is a Columbia, S.C., native. He played his first two collegiate seasons at Georgia Military College.

“That was the toughest two years of my life. It was a big change for me,” Daley said. “I’m just glad I was able to make it out… It made me ten times more disciplined. If I can go through that I feel like I can go through anything. That helped me achieve everything at South Carolina.”

Jordan Scarlett Jersey

When the Carolina Panthers opted to take running back Jordan Scarlett in the fifth round of the 2019 Draft, a quick look into his background may have caused some concern.

At the University of Florida, Scarlett had been among nine members of the Gators to be implicated in a credit card fraud scheme, and was suspended for the entire 2017 season as a result. And that wasn’t the only blight on Scarlett’s record: He was also cited for possession of marijuana during his freshman year, and was suspended for the Citrus Bowl as a result.

For a team like the Panthers that has steered clear of players with off-field issues in recent years, the selection of Scarlett was a rather curious one. But speaking after the NFL Draft, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney explained that there is reason to believe that Scarlett has matured and deserves an opportunity.

“He was very remorseful. He admitted he made a mistake when he was a freshman and he was the one guy that stayed and worked his way back to make up for it,” said Hurney. “And I think that’s what really impressed us the most. You talked to anyone down there, they love this kid and he’s one of the most well-liked players on that team. He openly admitted that.

“Listen, he was young. He made a mistake, but he worked hard to work his way back to make up for that and to go back and play there and stayed there last year and I thought that was very impressive.”

Speaking for himself in an introductory conference call with the Charlotte media, Scarlett said that serving a year’s suspension for his actions was “terrible”, and that it prompted a great deal of personal introspection.

“I had been playing football since I was six or seven years old and never missed a year,” said Scarlett. “So when I had to miss a year due to suspension, it just hurt me and it kind of made me reflect on how much football really meant to me and who I am. Definitely a learning experience.”

Christian Miller Jersey

CHARLOTTE – Christian Miller arrived at the University of Alabama in 2014 as so many football players do, regarded as one of the top prospects in the country.

Stops and starts throughout his career with the Crimson Tide didn’t land him among the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft, but now he’s out to prove that perhaps he should have been regarded that way as well.

“I truly believe I have first-round ability between my measurables and my athleticism, as well as off the field being a team leader. I truly do believe that,” said Miller, a versatile outside linebacker selected by the Panthers in the fourth round, at No. 115 overall. “I feel like I’m just getting started. I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I feel like my best football is ahead of me.”

Miller has good reasons for feeling that way, and the Panthers have to feel good that such a talented player was available on the third and final day of the draft.

And it’s just not about his bloodlines or the blueblood he competed for in college. The 6-foot-3, 247-pounder is a South Carolina native and the son of Corey Miller, a former Gamecock selected in the 1991 draft who played nine NFL seasons predominantly with the Giants. And Christian Miller, after redshirting as a true freshman, was a part of four consecutive Alabama teams to reach the national title game.

His role with some of those teams, however, was limited. He waited patiently behind other five-star recruits in 2015 and 2016, taking advantage of the opportunities he did get, but then when it was his turn in 2017, he missed 10 games with an arm injury. He admits that injury history probably affected his draft stock.

As a senior he began to put it all together, though he did have to sit out the national title game with a hamstring injury suffered chasing No. 1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray in the national semifinal. Miller by that point had developed into a player the Crimson Tide missed in the title tilt, a player who finished second on the team with 8.5 sacks even while sharing snaps with an extremely deep unit.

Then come draft day, Miller had to be patient again – a patience that again paid off.

“To put it all together as a senior and have a complete year, it meant the world to me,” Miller said. “The most important thing to me was that I was named captain by my teammates. That really was icing on the cake and something I’ve always dreamed of, especially at a place like Alabama.

“Obviously I wish we could have ended the season in a different manner, but all the hard work paid off. I had to develop a little bit after having a role with the team in other ways – special teams and rotating in helping with pass rush – and then when I did have my opportunity, I got injured. But I was able to come back and help win a championship that year and then put it all together.”

The Panthers are excited about putting together a new look on defense next season. They’ve hinted throughout the offseason at featuring more hybrid looks in 2019, and decisions to draft versatile defensive end Brian Burns in the first round and then Miller in the fourth round appear to have put an exclamation point where a question mark was.

Both Burns before him and now Miller are being listed as both linebackers and defensive ends.

“I was hoping they’d look to take another edge guy and fortunately they did,” said Miller, who (along with Burns) was among the 29 stadium visits the Panthers used during the pre-draft process. “They really do like my versatility, and I know they want to do a lot of different things on defense going forward.

“I do think I can check every box. … I’m able to rush off the edge, set the edge, play the run, drop into coverage.”

Of course Miller wanted to hear his name called earlier in the draft, and of course he can’t wait for the chance to prove that point.

But on the balance, for someone who grew up a 90-minute drive from Bank of America Stadium, Saturday was a pretty good day.

“I’m thankful I went to the right place,” Miller said. “It’s crazy how things work out, and I couldn’t be any happier.

“It’s not where you get picked, it’s what you do when you get there.”