Panthers take USF DT McClain to open third round
USF defensive tackle Terrell McClain was picked by the Carolina Panthers with the opening pick of the third round in the NFL Draft on Friday night.
McClain, known affectionately as "Dancing Bear" in his time at USF, had been projected as a second- or third-round pick, after a strong showing in postseason showcase games and at the NFL Combine. The Pensacola native drew strong interest from NFL teams, both at USF's pro day in March and in a busy schedule of personal workouts and visits since.
McClain is the third USF defensive lineman selected in the past two drafts, following Jason Pierre-Paul (Giants) and George Selvie (Rams) last season. Since the Panthers play in the NFC South, McClain will get a trip back to Raymond James Stadium every year to face the Bucs. He also got to finish his college career in the stadium he'll now call home, as the Bulls beat Clemson in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte.
It's the second year in a row USF has had the opening pick of the third round -- cornerback Jerome Murphy went to the Rams with that pick last year. Those two are tied for the fifth-highest Bulls draft pick -- only Pierre-Paul (1st, 2010), cornerback Mike Jenkins (1st, 2008), safety Nate Allen (2nd, 2010) and linebacker Kawika Mitchell (2nd, 2003) have gone higher.