Ranking the 10 worst draft picks in Carolina Panthers franchise history
By Luke Gray
Vernon Butler – Former Carolina Panthers DT
- Drafted 30th overall in 2016 (Louisiana Tech)
- 52 games played
- Fifth-year option declined in 2019
Another first-round miss for the Carolina Panthers was when they selected Vernon Butler, a promising defensive tackle out of Louisiana Tech.
Butler struggled to make an impact alongside Pro Bowler Kawann Short over his first three years in the league. Despite playing in 38 games, the former Bulldog recorded just 44 total tackles and two sacks and the team decided against picking up his fifth-year option.
Ironically, the 2019 season was Butler’s best in Carolina. With Short placed on the reserve/injured list, Butler ended the campaign with 32 tackles and six sacks, which was a major step in the right direction.
However, most Panthers remember Butler for his outburst in Week 17 of the 2019 season. After being ejected for punching Jack Doyle during a game against the Indianapolis Colts, the lineman was pictured flipping off Colts fans as he left the field.
After leaving in 2019 he signed a two-year deal with the Buffalo Bills in March 2020, where Butler also struggled to make an impact. He remains in the league and recently signed a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.