CHARLOTTE - The Carolina Panthers selected Virginia Tech edge rusher Amaré Barno in the sixth round (189) of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
Barno, who is 6-foot-4 and 246 pounds, registered a 4.36 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, the fastest time for a defensive lineman since 2003.
He becomes another young speedster coming off the edge for the Panthers, joining Pro Bowl defensive end Brian Burns.
"Just being behind someone like that, learn things from him and have the experience, I'll just continue to improve my game," Barno said of Burns.
He's also a South Carolina native with ties to the Queen City. Barno is from Blythewood, graduating from Westwood High School. Barno said his family lives in Charlotte. Hs stepfather is a barber in town that cuts some current Panthers players' hair.
Barno had 3.5 sacks in 12 starts for the Hokies, leading the team with 28 quarterback pressures in 2021. Barno started the season by helping Virginia Tech upend a top-10 ranked North Carolina by notching 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
He made the transition from linebacker to defensive end ahead of his junior season. Barno turned that into a year where he earned honorable mention consideration from the ACC, leading the Power 5 with 16 tackles for loss in 2020. Barno became so effective for the Hokies that he started the team's last six games that season. Barno finished 2020 with 43 total tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovered and two pass breakups.
Barno spent his first two seasons at a junior college powerhouse in Butler Community College. During his sophomore year, he had 71 total tackles and 4.5 sacks.
"They wanted me to get closer to the ball and not do too much thinking," Barno said of his coaches' decision to move him on defense. "... They just wanted me to go."
View photos of Barno from his time at Virginia Tech and the combine where he ran the fastest 40 (4.36) by a defensive lineman since 2003.