Panthers sign first-round pick WR Kelvin Benjamin

By John Breech |

Kelvin Benjamin is officially under contract in Carolina. (Twitter/@Panthers)
Kelvin Benjamin is officially under contract in Carolina. (Twitter/@Panthers)

The Carolina Panthers made six picks in the 2014 NFL Draft and as of Wednesday, all six players are under contract. The final piece to the puzzle was first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin, who officially signed his contract on Wednesday, the team announced.

The 28th overall pick signed a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth year. Although the terms haven't been announced, the fully guaranteed deal is expected to be worth $7.66 million and include a $3.89 million signing bonus.

It wasn't a shock that the Panthers went with a wide receiver in the first round. After all, the team did lose receivers Steve Smith (Baltimore), Brandon LaFell (New England), Ted Ginn (Arizona) and Domenik Hixon (Chicago) during free agency.

That's not just a list of every Panthers wide receiver who signed with another team. It's also a list of every receiver who caught a pass for the Panthers in 2013.

In Benjamin, the Panthers believe they have a player who can be a major contributor right away. "He has a lot of upside, and he gives us a legitimate chance to have a number one receiver," general manager Dave Gettleman said of Benjamin. "He is a terrific kid. He has come a long way, and we are real excited to have him." senior writer Pete Prisco gave the Benjamin pick a C, but that's only because Prisco thought the Panthers should have gone with Marquise Lee, who was also available.

The Panther also signed third-round pick Trai Turner on Wednesday.

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