Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns fills difficult role of Peppers replacement
Burns will be a great pick for Carolina.
As many of you know by now, the Carolina Panthers selected defensive end Brian Burns out of Florida State with the 16th overall pick. The pick itself really lacked suspense as Burns was matched with the Panthers in several mock drafts over the course of the past couple of months. However, it was nice to see Burns put on the Carolina hat as he becomes the newest player on the Panther defense.
This was a great pick. 38.5 tackles for a loss and 23 sacks will certainly translate well to the National Football League. I hate to put a certain level of expectation on him before he even takes a snap in the National Football League. However, I view him as a replacement for Julius Peppers. No pressure, right?
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He has that type of talent. He is explosive, he can make offensive lines uncomfortable, and he can set the edge. He can make an impact right now, something that the Carolina Panthers focused on in last year’s draft class as well. He has a physicality that will translate well to the National Football League and he can bully offenses to the point where he can take over a game. Being a Boston College fan, I got to see a lot of him in the ACC when he was with Florida State. This is a type of player that is as solid a pick as they come. In what was a wild draft in general, Carolina made a safe bet here.
I really like the fact that they did not try to acquire a defensive end in free agency. They needed to get younger defensively, and the only way to do so is through the draft. It will be interesting to see what they do Friday evening, but for now they built a solid foundation. Marty Hurney has made it clear via his draft picks that he wants them to be able to play right now. We saw it last year as he boldly took wide receiver DJ Moore with the 22nd overall pick, and we are seeing it with Burns again here. There is not as much risk involved with Burns as there was with Moore. The defensive end position is a lot less risk-laden in general.
Carolina filled a need and picked up a great player in Burns. I can’t wait to see what he can do on the field, and he is the type of player that they can build the defense around for years to come. If all goes according to plan, Hurney made another tremendous pick here it will be interesting to see how Eric Washington utilizes Burns.