• 66°

Panthers’ 1st pick: Wide receiver DJ Moore

Panthers take Maryland receiver with 24th overall pick

D.J. Moore

By Steve Reed

AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have selected wide receiver D.J. Moore from Maryland with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, giving Cam Newton yet another option at offense.

Moore was the first wide receiver selected in the NFL draft and joins what is becoming a crowded wide receivers position in Carolina.

The decision to take Moore comes after the Panthers traded for Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith earlier this offseason and signed free agent Jarius Wright from the Vikings in hopes of improving a passing game that finished 28th in the league last season. Devin Funchess returns as Carolina’s No. 1 receiver after a breakout season in 2017.

“I’m ecstatic,” Moore said on a conference call. “I’m crying a little. … It was a relief. They told me they were going to take me if I was there.”

NFL Network analyst and former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. said he liked the pick, adding that, “They have never been able to replace me” at wide receiver.

Said Moore: “If he said that, that is a high honor.”

Moore was the 2017 Big Ten Receiver of the Year and first-team all-conference selection. He caught a school-record 80 passes for 1,033 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games last season for the Terrapins.

He also led Maryland in receiving as a sophomore with 41 receptions for 637 yards and six touchdowns.

He could also contribute right away as a returner.

Moore said he feels like he can be a week one starter for the Panthers “if I put the work in.”

It was first draft pick chosen by general manager Marty Hurney’s since 2012. Hurney was fired by the Panthers that year after conducting 11 drafts as GM, but returned to the team returned on an interim basis last summer and was hired full time in February.

The Panthers have made the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, but were knocked out in the first round last season by division foe New Orleans. The Saints swept all three games from Carolina, which made finding ways to match up better with them an offseason priority.

Carolina’s offense stalled most of the season in 2017 and it was often the defense that had to bail them out.

The move comes on the same day the Panthers gave tight end Greg Olsen a two-year contract extension.

___

More AP NFL: http://pro32.ap.org/salisburypost/

Comments

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy