CHARLOTTE – Two days after the Panthers drafted a guy who wore No. 1 at Maryland last year, they spent their fifth-round pick on a guy who wore No. 1 at Maryland last year.
That’s right, college teams are allowed to put multiple players in the same number as long as they’re not on the field at the same time. So wide receiver DJ Moore and linebacker Jermaine Carter are kindred spirits – at least numerically.
Perhaps that helps explain how weeks ago Moore predicted the Panthers would draft his former college and now current pro teammate.
“(Moore) actually was the first player to reach out to me, even before (the Panthers) gave me the call and before I got drafted,” Carter explained shortly after Carolina made him the 161st overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. “He told me he thought (the Panthers) would eventually take me.
“I’m honestly not sure how he knew, but he said he was on a visit and some guys were asking about me. And he wasn't lying.”
The Panthers were asking about Carter because they were intrigued by his productivity. In each of his final three seasons, he led the Terps with at least 90 tackles while making 37 starts at middle linebacker.
“I see a guy that's got good quickness, good first step quickness, plays laterally very well,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “He played in a defense that was OK. They're a young team that's still growing, so he had to do a lot of work on his own.”
The 6-foot, 228-pound Carter is on the smaller side for a linebacker, but that’s not why he’s nicknamed “Pee Wee.”
“My older brother, my parents asked him what he wanted to name me and he said Pee Wee,” Carter said. “Since I was born, Pee Wee just stuck with me. So it's been a family name my whole life.”