CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers have signed five of their eight 2018 draft choices, the club announced Thursday.
The team signed second-round draft choice cornerback Donte Jackson, fourth-round draft choices tight end Ian Thomas and defensive end Marquis Haynes, fifth-round draft choice linebacker Jermaine Carter and seventh-round draft choice defensive tackle Kendrick Norton.
Jackson, who played collegiately at Louisiana State, was selected with the 55th overall choice.
In 2017, he posted 51 tackles, 10 pass breakups, one interception and one sack, earning second team All-Conference honors, as voted on by all SEC coaches.
In three seasons with the Tigers, Jackson totaled 116 tackles, 22 pass breakups and four interceptions for an LSU defense that ranked in the top-25 each year for total yards allowed per game.
At the NFL combine, Jackson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds, tied for the fastest time among all participants.
Thomas was the first pick on day three of the NFL Draft, taken by Carolina with the 101st overall choice.
Thomas, 6'5" and 250 pounds, played two seasons at Indiana after transferring from Nassau Community College (Garden City, N.Y.), where he was rated the second best junior college tight end by ESPN.
He was an All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2017 and earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl after averaging 15.0 yards per reception on the season, the fourth highest mark among all tight ends nationally.
Haynes, who played collegiately at Mississippi, was selected with the 136th overall choice.
He is the Rebels' modern-era sacks leader with 32.0 career sacks. In 2015, Haynes tallied 10.0 sacks on the year, tying the school's modern-era record for most sacks in a single-season.
He earned All-SEC second team honors as a senior and sophomore, and All-SEC third team honors as a junior.
Carter was selected by Carolina with the 161st overall pick. In his final three years at Maryland, Carter started all 37 games and led the Terrapins in tackles in each of the seasons.
Over his full collegiate career, he compiled 337 tackles, 9.5 sacks and one interception which he returned for a touchdown.
Carter was the second former Maryland player drafted by the Panthers in 2018, joining first-round draft choice D.J. Moore.
Norton, who played collegiately at Miami, was the 242nd overall pick. In his three seasons as a Hurricane, Norton compiled 84 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and five sacks.
He was an All-ACC honorable mention in 2017 after earning All-ACC third team honors in 2016.
Carolina's seven undrafted rookies, quarterback Kyle Allen, running back Reggie Bonnafon, guard Kyle Bosch, linebacker Chris Frey, guard Taylor Hearn, guard Brendan Mahon and defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle, all signed contracts Thursday.