CHARLOTTE – The Panthers traded one of their fifth-round picks (No. 147) as well as their sixth-round pick (No. 197) to the Los Angeles Rams to move back into the fourth round and select productive pass rusher Marquis Haynes from Ole Miss with the 136th overall pick.
"He's just flat out speed off the edge," general manager Marty Hurney said of the defensive end. "He can get to the quarterback."
Haynes, 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, is the Rebels' modern era career sacks leader after recording 32, surpassing former Panther Greg Hardy's mark of 26.5. Haynes also holds the school's modern era record for tackles for loss with 47.5. In 2017, Haynes posted 7.5 sacks and led the team with 11.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.
He's a bit undersized by Carolina's usual standards for edge rushers, but the Panthers plan to use him as a pass rush specialist much like they did when defensive end Mario Addison first started contributing.
"He'll be a situational pass rusher for us," head coach Ron Rivera said. "His greatest asset as an athlete is his speed off the ball. He's got a great first step, he's explosive, he gets off the ball very quickly. He's got an array of pass rush moves we think we can exploit and we can move him around."
Haynes, who was originally committed to the University of North Carolina before ending up at Ole Miss, can't wait to learn the tools of the trade from former Tar Heel and future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers.
"I had comparisons and was told I was explosive like Julius Peppers," Haynes said. "He's one of my idols. That's amazing right there. I guess it was meant to be for me to be in Carolina."