The Panthers would be wise to take a look at Burns at No, 16.
As mock draft season begins to take shape, mock draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. did one of his own Thursday. Much like the Greedy Williams pick, Kiper also thought that the Panthers should take a player from the defensive side of the football with their selection.
The player in question? Florida State defensive end Brian Burns. Looking at it just from position alone, this is a very logical pick. One of the Panthers main pass-rushing weapons in Julius Peppers is getting older. Carolina certainly needs to upgrade at the position.
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The Panthers ranked at the bottom of the league in 2018 with 35 sacks on the season. Mario Addison certainly did his part as he led the team with nine on the year. In second place was Peppers who totaled five on the season. Besides those two, Carolina did not offer much in terms of pass-rushing capabilities. That is something they need to address in the upcoming draft.
Kiper certainly seems to think so. In his first mock draft of the season, Kiper outlined exactly how he thinks Burns can help the Panthers. Let me just say that I like what he has to say. Being a fan of ACC football, I watched Burns a lot over the past couple of years. He certainly is an impact player, and is the type of player that could help improve the Panthers pass rush greatly.
"“The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Burns, who had 10 sacks in 2018, needs more time in the weight room,” wrote Kiper, “But he could grow into a defensive end.”"
I would not worry too much about his weight. Nowadays, teams have specific programs that help players reach their weight goal. The fact that he recorded 10 sacks in 2018 and still has room to grow should be something that intrigues Carolina. For his career, Burns has recorded 23 sacks and is exactly the type of player the team could use to upgrade their pass rush. His best year was last year. In addition to the sacks, he also recorded 52 tackles. He is a player that plays with a high motor and is not afraid to go after the quarterback.
If Burns is there at pick number 16, Carolina should certainly take him. When selecting a first-round pick, teams often pick players at positions they need the most. Pass rushing is certainly something they need to get better at so this pick would not be a reach. They need someone that can get into the backfield quickly. The organization thought that Dontari Poe would be able to fill that role in 2018, but quite frankly, he left a lot to be desired.
Burns would be another great option for the team. They need to get younger, and they need to get quicker. He checks all of those boxes with ease and I would not be surprised to hear his name called swiftly in the upcoming draft. Hopefully, the Panthers are the ones that will call his name.