Following James Conner's third-round selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday evening, four Panthers were drafted on Saturday: guard Dorian Johnson (fourth round, Arizona Cardinals), quarterback Nathan Peterman (fifth round, Buffalo Bills), offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty (sixth round, New York Giants) and defensive end Ejuan Price (seventh round, Los Angeles Rams).
Johnson (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon Area) was named a first-team All-American by four different selectors in 2016. He became the first Pitt offensive lineman to earn that status in 22 years (Ruben Brown in 1994). Johnson additionally was a first-team All-ACC selection by the media and coaches. He finished his Pitt career with a streak of 40 consecutive starts dating back to the 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (vs. Bowling Green) his freshman season.
"Dorian was a huge part of our record-setting offense," Coach Pat Narduzzi said. " He is a great player who was incredibly durable and dependable during his career. The Cardinals are getting a very mature person who won't be outworked. We are thrilled he will join a fellow Panther in Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona."
The most efficient passer in the ACC this past season, Peterman (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail) was at the helm of the highest scoring offense in school history (40.9 ppg). He completed 60.5% of his passes for 2,855 yards with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions (a 163.4 efficiency rating). In addition to his football achievements, Peterman also earned his MBA from Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business and was an ACC All-Academic honoree.
"I think Buffalo got an incredible steal in Nathan," Narduzzi said. "He is a highly intelligent player and leader. There's a reason he was the ACC's pass efficiency as a senior. He played a major role in orchestrating one of the nation's most explosive scoring offenses. Nathan will be a great asset on and off the field for the Bills."
"Adam has all the qualities you want in an offensive lineman: toughness, intelligence and relentlessness," Narduzzi said. "Not only was he a two-time All-ACC performer at left tackle but--and this is so impressive--he was a four-time ACC All-Academic honoree. We are excited that Adam is a member of the New York Giants."
Price (Rankin, Pa./Woodland Hills) was named first team All-ACC each of his final two seasons. He finished his career with 29.5 sacks, tied for fourth all-time in Pitt history with Aaron Donald (2010-13). As a senior, more than half of Price’s total tackles went for a loss. He totaled 45 tackles, 23 TFLs, 13 sacks and 14 quarterback hurries. Price also had three forced fumbles, a blocked PAT (vs. Syracuse) and a tackle for a safety (at North Carolina).
"I'm really thrilled Ejuan was selected by the Rams and gets to reunite with fellow Panther Aaron Donald," Narduzzi said. " Ejuan's production just jumps out at you and I'm certain that's what impressed the Rams. He was incredibly disruptive for us the past two seasons. Ejuan has so much love and passion for the game. He is a definite steal for Los Angeles."
On Saturday evening, several other Pitt players signed free-agent deals with NFL clubs. Tight end Scott Orndoff (Waynesburg, Pa./Seton-LaSalle) and safety Terrish Webb (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) signed with the Steelers; defensive linemen Tyrique Jarrett (Pittsburgh, Pa./Taylor Allderdice) and Shakir Soto (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) signed with the Denver Broncos; cornerback Ryan Lewis (Seattle, Wash./Eastlake) signed with the Arizona Cardinals; linebacker Bam Bradley (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) inked with the Baltimore Ravens while wide receiver Dontez Ford (McKees Rocks, Pa./Sto-Rox) is expected to sign with the Detroit Lions.
Other free-agent signings will be updated as they occur.
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