Panthers draft former Laney player Corvey Irvin



Video: Former Laney player Corvey Irvin celebrates at Cafe 209 after being drafted by Carolina Panthers.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Panthers appeared to be following their draft board on Sunday, addressing needs at defensive tackle and creating competition at fullback, but also taking a running back, a position where Carolina is well stocked.

The Panthers began the draft's second day by selecting defensive tackle Corvey Irvin of Georgia in the third round. The Panthers then ignored their depth at running back and took Mike Goodson of Texas A&M.

The Panthers used their second fourth-round pick on fullback Tony Fiammetta of Syracuse, perhaps giving veteran Brad Hoover competition in training camp.

The Panthers also had picks in the fifth and sixth rounds.

A day after the Panthers traded next year's first-round pick to San Francisco to take defensive end Everette Brown, the 6-foot-3, 301-pound Irvin is expected to give the Panthers depth at tackle behind Maake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis after taking an unusual route to the NFL.

Saying he was "lost" coming out of high school, the Augusta, Ga., native went to Georgia Military College for two years before transferring to Georgia. He didn't start until early in his senior season after Jeff Owens was injured.

But Irvin quickly shot up draft boards. He's known as run-stopper, an area Carolina struggled to do late last season. But Irvin also believes he can help with Carolina's pass rush.

"My biggest strength is being able to cause corruption in the pocket in the pass rush," Irvin said. "I think I can rush the passer real well and I can also can play the run, too. I really have no weaknesses. I just need to work on my overall strength."

Irvin spoke to reporters via conference call shortly after a smiling Brown took a tour of Bank of America Stadium and talked of being a late bloomer himself. Brown didn't become a full-time starter until last season at Florida State, recording 13½ sacks.

"The thing that really elevated my game was off the field in the film room, just the ability to be a student of the game," Brown said. "Studying the film, studying my opponents and really understanding the game of football made me a step faster, a step quicker to the ball, a step quicker than my opponent."

How quickly Brown is expected to become a major factor will be determined after defensive end Julius Peppers' situation is resolved. Peppers wants to play for another team and could skip next weekend's minicamp.

Goodson, acquired with the extra fourth-round pick acquired in Saturday's deal with the 49ers, left school after his junior year in part due to a lack of playing time. Goodson said he was told he could play some slot receiver for the Panthers and will also get a tryout returning kicks.

The 6-foot, 208-pound Goodson would figure to have difficulty getting time in the backfield with Carolina having one of the top running back tandems of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

"Anywhere they put me I'll be ready to play," Goodson said.

The 6-foot, 245-pound Fiammetta developed into a reliable receiver out of the backfield for the Orange, but will mostly be used as a blocker in Carolina's system. He could challenge Hoover, who will turn 33 late next season.

"To be a fullback and go to such a powerful running offense, it's just an honor," Fiammetta said. "To block for Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, it's going to be a great time. I'm looking forward to learning from Hoover and it's just going to be a great situation."



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