The Carolina Panthers have selected Tennessee defensive back Rashaan Gaulden in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Gaulden goes 85th overall.
Gaulden declared for the NFL Draft back in January after his redshirt junior season.
The 6-1, 197 pound defensive back handled the nickel role at Tennessee in 2016 and 2017, playing out of the slot and wreaking havoc on the line of scrimmage. He was a little bit of a do-it-all hybrid player during his time in Knoxville.
In his two seasons as a starter, Gaulden totaled 137 total tackles, including 9.5 for loss. He has just one career interception, but is credited with nine passes defensed.
Gaulden became better known on a national stage for his middle-finger salute to Alabama fans after a pick six from linebacker Daniel Bituli. He would later apologize for his actions, but he explained further at his pro day, saying, “I just hate Alabama.”
Gaulden should offer plenty of versatility at the NFL level and lands on a team that could certainly use his services. It’s going to be interesting to see where the Panthers play him in the secondary.