Panthers Sign First-Round Pick Derrick Brown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers have signed Derrick Brown, the seventh overall pick in the NFL draft, to a four-year contract.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pound defensive tackle was a standout at Auburn, earning consensus All-America honors last season and finishing his college career with 170 tackles, 13 sacks and 33 1/2 tackles for loss. He’s expected to start right away for the Panthers under first-year coach Matt Rhule.

Brown is Carolina’s first pick to sign.

Brown said on Twitter that he’s thankful for this opportunity and “it’s just the beginning of a marathon.”