Carolina Panthers rookie draft pick Vernon Butler, left, runs a drill against Eric Crume, right, during an NFL football practice in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, May 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton
May 13, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Panthers have signed first-round draft pick Vernon Butler, a defensive tackle from Louisiana Tech.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available on Friday.

Butler was the last of Carolina's five draft picks to sign a contract.

Butler said before rookie minicamp that he was excited to have the contract done and out of the way so he could concentrate on football.

The 6-foot-4, 323-pound Butler is expected to be in a rotation behind starting defensive tackles Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei.

He amassed 170 tackles, including 29.5 for loss and five sacks in his college career, showing a blend of size and speed. Butler said he is just scratching the surface of his potential.

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Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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