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Panthers trade up, draft OT Williams in fourth round

CHARLOTTE – "You know I couldn't get through a draft without a hog molly." In a trade with the Oakland Raiders, general manager Dave Gettleman exchanged the Panthers' fourth (No. 124), fifth (161) and seventh-round picks (242) to move up 22 spots in the fourth round to get one.

With the 102nd overall pick, the Panthers selected massive Oklahoma offensive tackle Daryl Williams.

"Daryl is big, he's powerful and he's got good enough athletic ability," Gettleman said. "He's exactly what we are looking for."

"We had a third-round value on him," Gettleman added. "He was too good to pass up."

Williams, a three-year starter at right tackle for the Sooners, was a first-team All-Big 12 performer as a senior in 2014. He started every game over the last two seasons, making his first and only career start at left tackle in the Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama in 2013.

At 6-foot-5, 327 pounds, Williams has the physical attributes Carolina was looking for in a rookie tackle.

"He's large," head coach Ron Rivera said with a smile. "He's a road grader. He's physical at the point of attack and when he gets his hands on people, he tends to lock them up.

"For what we want to do and how we want to run the football, he'll fit very nicely."

Panthers assistant offensive line coach Ray Brown worked out Williams a few weeks ago prior to the NFL Draft and came away impressed.

When Williams was available early in the fourth round, Carolina did what was necessary to end his long wait.

"I'm not going to lie – I was devastated last night," Williams said. "Yesterday was a long day, but (the Panthers) traded up for me today, and I thank them for that. All I need is an opportunity."

Williams will get an opportunity to compete for the starting right tackle job. Gettleman said that position is currently held by Mike Remmers, who ended the 2014 season as Carolina's starting right tackle, and Remmers knows he'll have to earn it once again.

But Williams, who will get work at left tackle as well, also has the positional versatility to play guard – something Carolina seeks in offensive linemen.

"Positional flexibility is very important in this league, especially when you take your roster down to 46 come game day," Rivera said. "Being able to play right, left or another position is great for us."

Said Williams: "I'm nasty. I'm a road grader, I'm technically sound. Hopefully my assets can help the Panthers."

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