Panthers take T Otah at No. 19 after trade with Eagles

NEW YORK (TICKER) —The Carolina Panthers paid a hefty price tag for left tackle Jeff Otah.

The Panthers took Otah with the 19th overall selection in Saturday’s NFL draft after acquiring the pick in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Originally slated for the pick, Philadelphia received Carolina’s first-round pick in 2009 along with a second-rounder (No. 43) and a fourth-rounder (No. 109) this season.

But the Panthers apparently felt that the 6-6, 330-pound Otah, a junior-college transfer who spent two seasons at Pittsburgh, was worth it.

Just scratching the surface of his potential, Otah did not start playing football until his season year in high school.

Still, he was called the “best blocker I’ve ever coached,” by Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt, who served as a head coach with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.

Otah was Carolina’s second first-round pick Saturday, joining running back Jonathan Stewart (No. 13).

It marked the second straight season that Philadelphia traded away its first-round pick.

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Updated Saturday, Apr 26, 2008