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The Carolina Panthers drafted Amaré Barno, in part, for his ability to get the quarterback. He also, apparently, has quite the ability to get to a pen.
As announced by the team on Tuesday afternoon, the 23-year-old defensive end signed his standard rookie contract. The penned agreement made Barno the first player taken in the 2022 NFL draft to officially complete his deal.
Carolina took Barno, the 189th overall selection, in the fifth round on Saturday. The 6-foot-5, 246-pounder spent a pair of seasons at Virginia Tech, where he totaled 10.0 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss over 21 games.
Barno flashed in Indianapolis two months back as well. He lit up stopwatches at 4.36 seconds during his 40-yard dash—the fastest time amongst all defensive linemen who participated in the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
Perhaps it won’t be right away, but the Panthers will look for Barno to become a reliable piece in their pass-rushing rotation. With the departure of their leading sack-getter in Haason Reddick, Carolina must piece together enough of a presence off the edge to not only make up for the big loss—but to take the next step as a defense for this season and beyond.