CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Panthers have seven draft picks at rookie minicamp, but undrafted free agent Ben Boulware is drawing as much attention as any of them.
Seven rounds, and 253 picks passed and the heart and soul of the national champion Clemson Tigers never heard his name called.
After the draft ended Saturday night, Boulware tweeted a promise of sorts.
Like I said 3 days ago...I'm in the business of proving people wrong. All I need is an opportunity.— Ben Boulware (@benboulware7) April 29, 2017
Now just sit back & watch.
Given an opportunity by the Panthers, Boulware plans to make the most of it. On Thursday he showed up to Bank of America Stadium 90 minutes early, so he took a nap in his car until it was time to check-in.
This guy lives and breathes football, and he's heard every reason in the book why he won't make the NFL.
"You're not good enough," Boulware said. "You're too small. You're too short. You're not athletic enough."
The leading tackler for the Tigers last season, Boulware believes his game will translate for the Panthers.
"I just want to prove myself right, and everyone else wrong that I can play at this level," Boulware said. "I'm up for a challenge, and like I said the other day I'm in the business of proving people wrong."
Outside of first round pick, Christian McCaffrey, Boulware got the most autograph requests outside the practice fields. High-profile for an undrafted guy, he's conscious of how he'll be perceived by his teammates.
"I hope they don't think I'm a scrub," Boulware said. "I know I'm going to have to pay my dues and stuff, but I was a decent player. Like, I'm solid. I think I've earned my right to be here."
Boulware has already talked to a couple guys. He got a text from fellow linebacker Luke Kuechly, and on Thursday he met Cam Newton.
"Cam came up to me yesterday, and dapped me up," Boulware said. "I was like, 'That's pretty cool. Cam Newton dapped me up.' "
With initial introductions out of the way, Boulware says he's not here to 'kiss anyone's butt.' He's here to make the team, and join an already stacked linebacker room.
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