Panthers finalize contracts with all 7 defensive draft picks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers now have all seven draft picks under contract.

The team announced Tuesday it has signed its six remaining unsigned picks, including second-round draft selections Yetur Gross-Matos and Jeremy Chinn.

Carolina also signed cornerback Tony Pride Jr. (fourth round) from Notre Dame, safety Kenny Robinson Jr. (fifth round) from West Virginia, defensive lineman Bravvion Roy (sixth round) from Baylor and cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver (seventh round) from Florida International

The team previously signed first-rounder Derrick Brown, the No. 7 overall pick, in May.

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The signings come on the same day when rookies reported to the team’s stadium for coronavirus testing in preparation for training camp.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Gross-Matos was the 38th overall player taken in April’s draft after the defensive end had 17 1/2 sacks the past two seasons for Penn State. He’s expected to replace Mario Addison, who left via free agency, as the team’s starting end.

The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Chinn was selected 64th overall out of Southern Illinois and the Panthers are hoping he gives them more flexibility in the secondary with his ability to play safety, cornerback and nickel back. New coach Matt Rhule has said he likes “positionless players.”

Pride, a cornerback, finished his college career at Notre Dame with 121 tackles, 18 pass breakups and four interceptions in 45 games and could compete for a starting spot. He was also a sprinter for the Fighting Irish track team.

Carolina used all seven draft picks on defense this year, marking the first time in the Super Bowl era a team has done that.

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