Ollison Drafted and Seven Other Panthers Sign with NFL Teams

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Typically I focus more on college football, but with this past weekend’s NFL draft in Nashville, Tennessee it’s worth taking a look at some former Panthers that will be continuing their career professionally.  Traditionally at least a couple of former Panthers are selected at the event, with an average of 2-3 getting selected in each draft since 2014. There weren’t as many potential prospects from Pitt as in the past, but Qadree Ollison’s selection in the 5th round meant that the Panthers had a player selected for the 6th consecutive year. Despite no other picks, Ollison and several other former Panthers who signed free agent deals will have the opportunity to continue their football careers in the NFL.

After rushing for nearly 3,000 yards in a four year career with the Panthers, Qadree Ollison will begin his professional career with the Atlanta Falcons. The 2016 NFC Champions made Ollison their 5th pick of this year’s draft, taking him with the 14th pick of the 5th round (152nd overall). While I wasn’t surprised to see Ollison get drafted, this is actually a little earlier than I had expected. His injury in the Sun Bowl had held him out of expected appearances in a couple of postseason all star games, which could have affected his draft stock. Ollison is the 14th Pitt player and 2nd Running Back to be drafted since 2013, the last year that no Panthers were selected. He’s also the first Pitt Running Back to be drafted since the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted James Conner in the 3rd round in 2017. Additionally, he’s the first Pitt player drafted by the Atlanta Falcons since they selected the late Bill Fralic