The first turned out to be last.
But when Carolina Panthers first-round defensive tackle Vernon Butler signed a four-year contract Friday morning, it meant the Panthers' entire draft class was under contract two hours before the start of the team's two-day rookie minicamp.
Butler, as the 30th overall pick, will earn an estimated $8.4 million, with a $4.3 million signing bonus, under the NFL's slotted wage scale for rookies.
Butler, 6-4 and 323 pounds, collected five sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss at Louisiana Tech. He joins a deep defensive tackle rotation that includes Pro Bowler Kawann Short, former first-round pick Star Lotulelei, free agent pickup Paul Soliai and recently re-signed Kyle Love.
The Panthers' five draft picks, along with seven undrafted free agents and 35 tryout players will practice three times over the next two days in Charlotte.