CHARLOTTE – Carolina has finalized a deal with their rookie outside linebacker, agreeing to terms with third-round selection DJ Johnson.
The Oregon product agreed to terms on a four-year rookie contract Wednesday.
At 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Johnson was drafted to help fill a need opposite two-time Pro Bowler Brian Burns in defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero's new 3-4 base defense. He'll also join Yetur Gross-Matos, Marquis Haynes Sr., and Amaré Barno at the position.
He spent six years in college football, playing in 43 games as an edge rusher and tight end. He spent his final year with the Ducks as a full-time outside linebacker, putting up 39 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, one fumble recovery, one quarterback hit, and two pass breakups in his last season.
The Panthers traded up with the Steelers from the 93rd overall spot in the third round of this year's draft to take Johnson with the 80th pick. They gave up a late fourth-rounder (No. 132) to get there.
Johnson is Carolina's third draft pick to agree to terms on his rookie contract, following safety Jammie Robinson and guard Chandler Zavala.