Carolina goes big in draft with Benjamin, Ealy, Turner

Kevin Benjamin, Wayne JohnsonThe Carolina Panthers are going big in the 2014 NFL Draft.

After selecting 6-foot-5 receiver Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State with the 28th overall pick on Thursday night, Carolina added 6-foot-4 defensive end Kony Ealy of Missouri and 310-pound offensive tackle Trai Turner of LSU in Friday night’s second and third rounds, respectively.

Benjamin exploded onto the national scene last year during his sophomore season with the Seminoles. He caught 54 passes for 1,011 yards with an Atlantic Coast Conference-leading 15 touchdowns. In the BCS title game against Auburn, he grabbed a national championship-winning 2-yard catch with 13 seconds left.

Benjamin should be a welcome addition for Cam Newton. Carolina’s fourth-year quarterback saw his top four receivers from last year – Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon – depart this offseason.

The Panthers picked Ealy in the second round, 60th overall, following his successful season with the SEC East champion Tigers. He had 37 tackles, seven sacks and an interception for Mizzou and his 4.92 time in the 40 and 273-pound frame provide a good combination of size and speed.

Carolina took Turner with the 92nd overall pick, adding another protector for Newton on the offensive line.

Photo courtesy of FSU Athletics

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