CHARLOTTE – The Panthers selected Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butker with their seventh and final selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. Butker, taken in the seventh round (233rd overall), is the first kicker drafted in team history.
"It means the world," Butker said. "They think I can come in and be good competition for Graham Gano, who is a great kicker. I'm just ready to get to work."
Butker finished his career as Georgia Tech's all-time leading scorer with 337 career points and 208 career PATs. He ranks third in school history in field goal percentage (.717).
Gano, an eight-year veteran, has been Carolina's kicker since 2012.
"We think this is a good opportunity to bring in some competition," head coach Ron Rivera said. "At the end of the day, we're going to keep who is best for us on this footbal team. It doesn't matter what the position is - we want compeition. We've tried to do that through this draft."